Hawaii Tourism on a new path: Malama for the People
Hawaii is trying to position itself as a different visitor destination. Hawaii wants to put in place different values when it comes to the tourism industry. Mass tourism may be an issue of the past. A new normal emerges for Hawaii Tourism.
The competition will be becoming bigger between destinations and within a destination. A tourism identity for a destination unique to others could be the key to success, according to Hawaii-headquartered World Tourism Network.
There is a new direction leading the future of tourism in Hawaii.
John de Fries, the new CEO of the Hawaiian Tourism Authority, had been working on this new direction even before he became to be in charge of the largest industry of the Aloha State and before the Coronavirus hit.
Mr. de Fries explained his work in putting Hawaii on a path towards responsible tourism in 2019. The State has on average welcomed 10,400,000+ visitors every year to its shores. De Fries said this success came with a price to pay.
Now with COVID-19 a reality, a tourism economy in freefall, and a health system under threat, the objectives for tourism need to be redefined.
De Fries explained: “The Hawaiian islands are an irreplaceable legacy for the people of Hawai‘i and its many visitors. It is everyone’s kuleana (responsibility) to malama (care for) our natural and cultural resources from mauka to makai (mountains to ocean).
The Hawaiian word mālama means to “take care,” and aina means land. So take care of the land. Don’t litter, pick up trash, recycle. It’s basic and should be instinctive. But malama is not just for the land; it’s for the people.
Yesterday John de Fries reached out to the community on Hawaii Island to get input on how to relaunch tourism on the Big Island.
Mr. de Fries explained it was important to establish an organizing principle for Malama, one that would enable being guided by values.
The discussion was about bringing the opportunity forward to the communities on Hawaii Island for suggestions and recommendations.
Mr. de Fries pointed out: “Malama has an action, intercultural practices, natural recourses, one by interaction, a principle to unify all of us regardless of what sector we come from.”
Community leaders suggested tourists should be required to make a pledge of Malama before allowed on the island.
Mr. de Fries presented his ideas of implementation of Malama Hawaii to secure a responsible approach for Hawaii Tourism where the next 3 or 4 generations find natural resources in Hawaii even in better shape than now.
Listen to this interesting discussion by tourism and community leaders.
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