Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority’s Kūkulu Ola Program Supports Ulu Aʻe Learning Center

Sponsored by Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority

HONOLULU (HI Now) - The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) proudly supports community organizations such as the Ulu Aʻe Learning Center on Oʻahu in an effort to perpetuate Hawaiʻi’s cultural and natural resources, while honoring its people and heritage. Ulu Aʻe Learning Center was one of 30 programs in Hawaiʻi that received funding support in 2022 through HTA’s Kūkulu Ola Program.

The Kūkulu Ola program has been a big part of HTA’s commitment to its Hawaiʻi community for over 15 years - empowering community leaders, who together are building a better Hawaiʻi for generations to come. The Ulu Aʻe Kaiaulu Project seeks to build an entire community’s knowledge about its history and culture through a three-program approach that builds skills, knowledge and stewardship within the community. The three programs: (1) Puʻuokapolei Stewardship Program (A Living Puʻu); (2) ʻIke Kuʻuna Workshop series; and (3) Noʻeau Learning Box Delivery Service use place-based and service-oriented methods to deepen the connection of learners to community, history, culture, and land.

Programs like Ulu Aʻe align with and are helping to move the needle forward for HTA’s Destination Management Action Plan initiatives and the interacting pillars of its 2020-2025 Strategic Plan. HTA’s goal is to ulu and hoʻoulu (grow) relationships between the industry and Hawaiʻi’s people as well as people to place. To do so, that takes change.

“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 Hawai’i’s communities. It identifies areas of need as well as solutions for enhancing the residents’ quality of life and improving the visitor experience.

To learn more about Ulu Aʻe and other programs, visit hawaiitourismauthority.org.