“The members of the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association are very saddened over the untimely passing of Congressman Mark Takai and join in extending our condolences to Sami and the Takai ohana.
We’ve lost not only a dedicated public servant but a friend to the hospitality industry. Since his election, Mark has been a strong voice for tourism in Washington. He was always open to our concerns and ideas, and was devoted to strengthening the industry. He championed legislation to restore draconian cuts to travel per diem rates in the Department of Defense budget and had a history of advocating for military affiliated meetings and conventions to be held in Hawaii. He met with our HLTA leadership just a few months ago and we were heartened to know at the time that his commitment to doing his very best for Hawai‘i was undiminished by his illness.
On a personal note, I knew Mark since he was president of the University of Hawaii’s student government and worked closely with him over the years as a City Councilmember, mayor, and in other endeavors. He was always enthusiastic, energetic, and full of ideas. In fact, he suggested to me to start the Mayor’s Remembrance Walk, the annual observance of the September 11 attacks in Honolulu.
Our families were close and we shared many precious moments together. Mark will be missed as a representative of the islands, an advocate for our people, a leader, and a dear friend.”
- Mufi Hannemann, President & CEO of Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association
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