Associations Breaking Travel News Business Travel News Cruise Industry News Destination News eTurboNews | eTN feeds Hawaii Travel Hospitality Industry Hotel News News Update People in Travel and Tourism Rebuilding Travel Responsible Travel News Tourism Travel Wire News USA Travel News

New Board Members at Hawaii Tourism Authority

, New Board Members at Hawaii Tourism Authority, eTurboNews | eTN
New Board Members at Hawaii Tourism Authority
Harry Johnson
Written by Harry Johnson

Board members serve as volunteers, guiding HTA’s work in holistically managing tourism and fulfilling HTA’s 2020-2025 Strategic Plan.

SME in Travel? Click here!

The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) announced the appointments of two new members to serve on its Board of Directors – airline industry veteran and community leader Blaine Miyasato and long-time public servant James Kunane Tokioka. The new members were sworn in at today’s special board meeting.

Blaine Miyasato is the Managing Director, State Government Affairs at Hawaiian Airlines with nearly 40 years of experience in the airline industry. He was Hawaiian Airlines’ first Vice President of In-Flight Services and the first rank-and-file employee on its executive team. Miyasato brings a breadth of experience across multiple disciplines including marketing, advertising, promotions, brand management, product development, and business process improvement. Born and raised in Hawaii, he began his career at Hawaiian Airlines as a flight attendant in 1985 and thereafter was appointed to key management positions of increasing responsibility.

James Kunane Tokioka is the Director of the Hawaii State Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism. Most recently, he served as the Deputy Director for the Hawaii State Department of Transportation’s Airports Division. Tokioka began his political career as a member of the Kauai County Council in 1996, where he served for 10 years. He then went on to serve for 16 years as a member of the Hawaii State House of Representatives. Prior to his public service, Tokioka worked his way through the hospitality industry, both in Hawaii and across the United States, doing everything from bussing tables to managing hotels and owning restaurants.

“We are excited to welcome Blaine and James, two highly respected individuals, who bring a great deal of knowledge, experience, and a personal passion for elevating communities statewide to our diverse board of directors,” said Daniel Nāhoʻopiʻi, HTA’s Chief Administrative Officer. “We are grateful for their commitment to helping HTA balance the well-being of all residents and place with meaningful economic, environmental and cultural benefits that are essential in our pursuit for a regenerative tourism model for Hawaii.”

HTA’s Board of Directors is a policy-making entity comprised of 12 members appointed by the Governor of Hawaii. Board members serve as volunteers, guiding HTA’s work in holistically managing tourism and fulfilling HTA’s 2020-2025 Strategic Plan and interacting pillars – community, natural resources, Hawaiian culture, and branding.

The new HTA board members’ terms commenced on July 7, 2023. They replace outgoing board members George Kam who served on the board since 2015 and as board chair since 2021, and Keone Downing, an expert waterman and operator of Downing Hawai’i, who served on the board since 2021.

“On behalf of our HTA ‘ohana, we extend a warm mahalo nui to George and Keone for the countless hours they invested in steering our organization and Hawaii’s tourism industry through the COVID-19 pandemic and the recovery that followed,” said Mike White, vice chair of the board.

“We appreciate and thank them for their service to the people of Hawaii and their valuable contributions to our work ensuring the Hawaii brand held strong in our key markets, while driving forth the Destination Management Action Plans that are benefiting each island today.”

About the author

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for mroe than 20 years. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is originally from Europe. He enjoys writing and covering the news.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
Share to...