Mufi's Message 11.20.19
HLTA Holidays In Paradise
Please join us for our Holidays In Paradise (HIP) Christmas Party on Thursday, December 5th. We have a fun evening planned as Grammy-nominated Josh Tatofi will be performing. You can see a video of Josh performing Henehene Kou Aka in the video below.
Holidays In Paradise will be held at Duke's Waikiki in the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort on their Lower Patio. The restaurant will offer validated parking for up to three (3) hours at the Ohana East. With validation, parking will cost $6 for three hours.
Please bring a gift card with a minimum denomination of $20 for entry in our lucky draw. Gift cards will be donated to a local nonprofit to benefit those in need during this holiday season.
Bill 55 (2019), CD2
On November 13, The Honolulu City Council Budget Committee reported out Bill 55 (2019), CD2 for passage on third reading. This bill, which relates to Real Property Taxation, carves out a specific tax class for Bed and Breakfast Home properties. This is a significant step in the right direction by the City.
As you know, HLTA has long supported the regulation of illegal transient vacation rental (TVR) units, and we advocated tirelessly for legislation to this effect. From the very get-go, we also pushed for short-term rental units to pay real property tax rates that were entirely separate from those paid by purely residential properties. Bill 55 (2019), CD2 addresses this missing link of real property tax parity and will also help the City to collect much needed revenue from legal short-term rental units.
Maui County and Kaua'i County have already enacted similar legislation that establishes separate tax classes for short-term rental units, and I am pleased to see the City & County of Honolulu following suit. Hopefully, the passage of Bill 55 (2019), CD2 will also lead Hawai'i County to consider making the same amendments to their real property tax classes.
While the agenda for the City Council’s December meeting has not yet been posted, I do expect to see this item put to a vote at the Council’s December 4 meeting.
Hawai'i Tourism Wholesalers Association
Last week, at the request of Trade West, Inc. President Thomas Matthews, I sat down with members of the Hawai'i Tourism Wholesalers for a talk story session. Mr. Matthews told me that he had reached out to me after reading about HLTA's current initiatives in the spadea that we ran in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser during our 192nd General Membership Meeting.
The evening was filled with lively conversation as we talked about tourism management, legislative priorities that affect Hawai'i's visitor and business industries, public transportation, and the future of our state's tourism industry. We ended with a short Q&A session and had a positive and productive conversation.
Hawaiian Airlines 90th Anniversary
Congratulations to longtime HLTA member Hawaiian Airlines which celebrated its 90th anniversary last week. In recognition of this milestone, the local airline replicated their historic 1929 flight by flying from Honolulu to Hilo with a short stop on Maui. The flight attendants who staffed the flight donned vintage uniforms from the 1960’s through the 1990’s.
Hawaiian Airlines also held the Great Hawaiian Plane Pull during which 68 teams of 12 worked together to pull a Boeing 717. The event raised $33,000 for the airline’s environmental nonprofit partner, Sustainable Coastlines Hawai'i.
Mahalo, Hawaiian Airlines, and best wishes for 90 more successful years.
Na Po'e Pa'ahana
Please join us at HTLA's 30th Annual Na Po'e Pa'ahana Awards Luncheon where we will honor our industry's most outstanding front-line employees. This year's luncheon will be held on Thursday, January 9, 2020 from 10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort.
To reserve your seats or to purchase tables, please click here.
We look forward to seeing you.
Mufi's Message 11.5.2019
Campaign for a Safer Community
Mufi is pictured speaking at the close of the Campaign for a Safer Community symposium at the Royal Hawaiian. This free event is also being held on Maui, Hawai'i Island, and Kaua'i over the next few days. For more information, you can visit https://hoolanapua.org/event/safer/.
Yesterday, Ho‘ōla Nā Pua, in partnership with HLTA and Hawai'i Tourism Authority, hosted a free symposium called “Campaign for a Safer Community: Taking a Stand Against Trafficking” to better equip local tourism industry professionals with the skills and knowledge needed to recognize and report suspected instances of human trafficking. It included three sessions that covered topics including how to recognize trafficking and exploitation, how to efficiently report suspected human trafficking, and how our tourism industry can be a key partner in making our communities safer places to live. HTA’s funding is also making it possible for the symposium to be held on Maui, Hawaii Island and Kauai in the next few days.
As I said in my closing remarks at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, sex trafficking is a problem that affects entire communities, not just our industry. That being said, our hoteliers are on the front lines and, it is important that we be proactive about addressing this crime. It is illegal. It is indecent. And, it is immoral.
If you suspect that someone is being victimized by human traffickers, in addition to notifying local enforcement authorities, please call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1 (888) 373-7888.
HTA and the Hawai'i Visitors Convention Bureau (HVCB) recently launched their Kuleana Campaign, a video campaign that shares the unwritten rules and etiquettes of Hawai'i with those visiting our state. The videos were filmed on O‘ahu, Maui, Kaua'i, and Hawai'i Island and cover topics that range from ocean and hiking safety, to cultural awareness.
In addition to posting the entire set of videos online, the Kuleana Campaign has partnered with Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, and Southwest Airlines, all of whom are airing these videos during flights that are en route to Hawai'i.
To see the entire playlist, please click here.
Na Po'e Pa'ahana - DEADLINE EXTENDED
It is the final week to submit entries for the 30th Annual Na Po'e Pa'ahana Awards. The cutoff date has been pushed to midnight of November 8. Don't miss this opportunity to recognize and honor the front-line employees who truly are the heart and soul of our Hawai'i's tourism industry.
To submit an entry, please click here.
Congratulations to the new Halepuna Waikiki by Halekulani and their General Manager Julie Arigo! Julie is a former HLTA Chairperson and the current Chair of our Women In Lodging Committee.
Residence Inn Kapolei
Congratulations also to the new Residence Inn by Marriott which opened in Kapolei last week. Pictured from left are HLTA Senior Director of Government and Community Affairs Jared Higashi, General Manager Brian Hunnings, Mufi, and Director of Sales Kelly Kitashima.
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