Travel & Tourism Week
Each year during the first full week of May, the United States observes National Travel & Tourism Week (#NTTW21) which celebrates the immense value that travel represents to the economy, businesses of all types, as well as our personal health.
National Travel & Tourism Week was established via congressional resolution in 1983, and I was excited to kick off this year's commemoration by joining Hawaii News Now's Sunrise Team for a live interview out front of the historic Moana Surfrider to provide a status report on the health of the local tourism industry.
"Visitors returning to Waikiki offer much-needed boon for tourism industry, experts say," Hawaii News Now, May 3, 2021
In the time since my last message, there has been a great deal of chatter in the local media that has echoed HLTA's position on HB862 which would drastically change HTA in terms of both funding and organization and strip the counties' annual TAT allocation while also allowing for the establishment of an additional 3% surcharge. It has been heartening to see so many in the media who clearly understand the ramifications of the measure as we continue to petition Gov. Ige to consider wielding his veto powers.
The Maui News ran a great article reporting on Mayor Victorino's press release that indicated his support for the three percent county surcharge on transient accommodations. As I noted in my comments to the paper, we are well aware that there is a difference of opinion among the four county mayors, and I hope that the other mayors will continue to show restraint until the legislative process is complete.
Tom Yamachika at The Garden Island also issued a column that discussed the various issues surrounding HB862. He equated this move by the Legislature to "kicking the [visitor industry] while it's down." I feel strongly that any increase to the cost of doing business in Hawai'i is ill-timed and should be delayed until the industry is back on its feet.
The editorial team at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser also took the Legislature to task in a recent column where they reported that Gov. Ige has expressed concerns with HB862 while concurring with his uneasiness regarding the measure.
REMINDER: Tomorrw at 8 a.m. HST, Lt. Governor Josh Green will join Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford and AHLA President & CEO Chip Rogers on AHLA's The Forum Speaker Series for a discussion panel that will cover tourism promotion and how to balance this while maintaining health and safety protocols.
You can register for the event at this link.
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