HONOLULU (HI Now) - The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) is proud to support community organizations in an effort to perpetuate Hawaiʻi’s natural and cultural resources, while honoring its people and heritage.
”Hawaiʻi, the visitor industry, and the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority are all in a time of huliau (transformative change), in which an accelerated shift toward destination management is necessary in order for tourism to properly support the revitalization of our communities and economy in a more meaningful and reciprocal way,” says HTA President and CEO John De Fries.
There is an incredible opportunity for tourism to be better managed so that both residents and the destination can thrive. This is the goal of each county’s Destination Management Action Plan to recover and rebuild tourism for Hawaiʻi’s communities. It identifies areas of need as well as solutions for enhancing the residents’ quality of life and improving the visitor experience.
On the island of Hawaiʻi, one of the action items is to protect and preserve culturally significant places and hotspots, like Pololū Valley. The DMAP process supported the Pololū Valley Stewardship Pilot Program, a collaboration with HTA, KUPU, NāAla Hele Trails and Access Program, and local families in Pololū. Through the program, four local stewards were hired to help with visitor management, safety and trail maintenance.
Now, these local stewards share valuable information with visitors—how to respect sacred sites, how to hike safely, and most importantly, how to love this place like they do. The program, which will continue beyond the pilot, empowers local families to have a greater voice in the future of their home, and has also resulted in fewer safety incidents.
To learn more about each island’s Destination Management Action Plan, visit: www.hawaiitourismauthority.org
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