Meeting with Gov. Ige
Yesterday, members of our statewide coalition—representing the tourism industry, restaurants, retail, air and ground transportation, trade associations, labor unions, community groups, and chambers of commerce—met with Gov. Ige to provide an update as to how his August 23 request for nonessential travel to halt has affected local businesses and our employees.
Mahalo to the following individuals who provided critical updates from key areas and economic sectors of our state: Sherry Menor-McNamara, President & CEO, Chamber of Commerce Hawai'i; Greg Maples, Chairman, Hawai‘i Restaurant Association; Toni Marie Davis, Executive Director, Activities & Attractions Association of Hawai'i; Tina Yamaki, President , Retail Merchants of Hawai'i; Pamela Tumpap, President, Maui Chamber of Commerce; Wendy Laros, President & CEO, Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce; Mark Perriello, President & CEO, Kaua'i Chamber of Commerce; Sean Williams, Vice President, State & Local Government Affairs, Airlines for America; and Jack Richards, President & CEO, Pleasant Holidays.
After reviewing the public health metrics that I highlighted in my last message, the coalition related to Gov. Ige just how important preparation will be in restoring travel as the entire travel industry will need sufficient time to market, communicate, and adjust operationally for any influx of visitors. I've expressed similar sentiments in recent comments to Civil Beat and to Hawaii News Now, noting that everything comes down to bookings, and our industry partners will need to prepare sufficiently before the doors to our state are flung open once again.
Senate Tourism Committee Tour
This morning, we led a tour of Waikiki with members of our State Senate Committee on Energy, Economic Development, and Tourism. Senate Tourism Chair Glenn Wakai, Vice Chair Bennette Misalucha, Senator Chris Lee, and a few of their team members joined us on what was an educational outing. We started the morning at the Prince Waikiki with an excellent tour led by General Manager Joshua Hargrove and Prince Resorts Hawai‘i’s President Kisan Jo. We then joined our friends at the Royal Hawaiian Center at their guest services and heritage room, Helumoa Hale. Mahalo to Sam Shenkus, Monte McComber, Aaron Sala, Michael Cox, Nani Hanus, Joy Veeraplin, and Kareen Balogo for their wonderful insights and hospitality. Our third stop was at the 'Alohilani Resort where Hotel Manager Mark Waller, Director of Operations Daniel Texeira, and Associate Director of HR Danae Orellana led the highly informative site tour. We ended the morning with a journey through the Waikiki Special District on one of E Noa Tour’s famous trolleys where WIA President Rick Egged and WBIDA President Jennifer Nakayama highlighted a variety of ongoing projects in the area.
This was a great opportunity to dialogue with the Senate Tourism Committee leadership and update them on everything from health and safety protocols to challenges that we face in the wake of the pandemic and to share new and creative initiatives that have been implemented to attract business from both locals and visitors. Many thanks to our members who stepped up to make this possible.
In October and November, the Sheraton Waikiki will host two vaccination clinics. These events are free and open to the public. While pre-registration is encouraged, walk-ins will also be accepted while vaccine supplies last.
Should you have any questions, please call (808) 691-2222 or visit covid.queens.org/vaccine-clinics.
Mahalo to Kyo-Ya Management Company and its Vice President of Administration, Labor and Community Relations Jason Ito for offering this wonderful opportunity to our industry members and local residents!
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