In addition to being a major supporter of this year's Merrie Monarch festival, the Hawaii Tourism Authority supports Hawaii's kama'āina. HI Now host Kainoa Carlson chats with Kalani Ka'anā'anā, the HTA's director of Hawaiian cultural affairs and natural resources, to learn more about its work with the community.
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“At the end of the day, we recognize that the Hawaiian culture is what makes our home unique,” said Ka’anā’anā. “This is where Hawaii lives and so making re-investments in people and place is important to us. What we try to do is partner with Hawaiian organizations to make sure our culture thrives.”
The HTA has launched its Malama Hawaii program with the goal of incentivizing visitors to give back to the local community. The program partners visitors with volunteer opportunities so that they can engage with the community while on the islands. Participants are offered discounts at local hotels and businesses when they volunteer.
“We wanted to educate them first about what their responsibilities are,” said Ka’anā’anā. “Tourism is a two way street, so malihini have kuleana just like we do as kama’āina.”
For more information: gohawaii.com/malama