We still have a few seats left at our 6th annual Ka Ikena Dinner at Kapiolani Community College this Thursday, November 9. This event is a benefit for the KCC Culinary Arts Program and provides the culinary arts students with the opportunity to showcase their talents to the leaders of hospitality. We encourage you to bring your team members as there will be plenty of great food and memories to be made. Be sure to register here to reserve your spot.
As I mentioned in last week’s Mufi’s Message, several members of our Board and Government Affairs committee recently met with newly appointed administrative director Ford Fuchigami and members of the Airport Committee of Hawaii at the Daniel K. Inouye airport to learn about the airport’s current projects and the stark need for an independent Airport Corporation. This bill has been through the ringer during the past two sessions each time failing to make it out of the conference committee . We are hoping this corporation bill will finally pass during this upcoming legislative session so that our airport can have a management system that will have a laser-like focus on running and improving Hawaii’s airports. Today, my staff and I attended a Hawaii Visitor & Convention Bureau luncheon featuring Alaska Airline’s CEO Brad Tilden. During the question and answer portion of the session, both Tilden and Hawaiian Airlines CEO Mark Dunkerly, who was also in the audience, spoke very articulately about the strong need for this Airport Corporation. Tilden praised the efforts of the Airport Committee of Hawaii, and underscored the fact that airports run smoother when run by an independent administrative system. Dunkerly echoed Tilden’s sentiments and emphasized that the corporation would be funded by the airlines and concessions that operate within the airport, and no taxpayer dollars will be used to fund this entity.
Starting next week, HLTA with our partner Salem Media will begin “Tourism Tuesdays,” a radio show highlighting stories from Hawaii’s tourism industry. Every Tuesday from 7-8 a.m. on AM 690, Mike Buck and various members of HLTA will host the show during your morning commute. Tune in on November 14, as yours truly will kick off the first Tourism Tuesday episode. In the ensuing weeks we’ll bring on members of my staff to lead the conversation, and eventually we may be calling on you to share what’s new with your property or business on air. The purpose of this show is to continually inform the public about how important our industry is and all we do for the State. You all heard it at our GMM when Gov. John Waihe’e said that people have a passive-aggressive view of tourism; folks assume the industry will continue to thrive, but that won’t be the case if we take it for granted. Already, some community leaders are making assumptions that tourism will not be the number-one economic driver in our State’s future. Tourism Tuesdays will be a wonderful reminder to the public that the tourism industry not only is, and will continue to be, the economic engine of our State, but also gives back greatly to our communities.
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