Mufi's Message - July 19
Civil Beat Editorial Board Interview
The photo above was taken during an interview with Civil Beat's editorial board. Photo courtesy of Civil Beat and Cory Lum.
Last week, I was invited to sit down with Civil Beat's editorial board for a wide-ranging interview that covered everything from the legislative battle of House Bill 862 to the history of our association and even the status of the Honolulu rail project. I was given the opportunity to speak at length about many of the issues facing our industry and our community, and I was extremely pleased to see that they published my remarks nearly in their entirety.
I encourage you to read through the whole piece as it summarizes important talking points that can be utilized by industry stakeholders and professionals as we continue to combat criticism of the industry and work to better educate the public on tourism's importance. As the article is extremely long, I have reproduced two key sections below.
HB 862 Veto
CB: OK, so this is a pretty big hui that you’ve got together here. But still, you guys were unsuccessful in defeating House Bill 862 in changing the funding of the Hawaii Tourism Authority and the hotel tax for the counties. You convinced the governor and he vetoed it, but the House and Senate narrowly overrode the governor.
CB: Tourism, while it was always sort of a pain point before, seems to have emerged from the pandemic as being a real fight now. A lot more people are just fed up with over-tourism. What do you do about that as the tourism industry? Is there anything you can do to help people feel better about tourists?
These are just two critical, industry-related topics that were covered in a nearly two-hour interview. In the time since the article was posted, I've received numerous positive comments from industry members who were pleased to see our side of the story so clearly articulated to the masses. I've long held that we can't run from the tough conversations about tourism and its place in our society and our economy. This is the type of media exposure I feel strongly that we need to seize upon, and I was grateful for the discussion.
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