In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

Hawaii tourism’s role in perpetuating Hawaiian culture, strengthening communities

Sponsored by Hawaii Tourism Authority

For the Hawaii Tourism Hawaii (HTA), perpetuating the Hawaiian culture and strengthening community ties is its priority, and its mission is to make a positive, lasting impact for Hawaii through the tourism industry. As part of this initiative, HTA has funded more than 100 programs in the last year. HI Now host Kanoe Gibson sat down with Director of Hawaiian Cultural Affairs Kalani Ka’anā’anā and director of enrichment, Caroline Anderson, to talk about its goals.

As a state-funded entity, HTA manages tourism for the state of Hawaii in a way that helps improve the quality of life for residents, families and communities on all islands. The welfare of the Hawaiian Islands, both for today and especially for the future, is what matters most in how HTA fulfills its mission.

HTA is responsible, first and foremost, for protecting the iconic brand of the Hawaiian Islands. This includes perpetuating Hawaiian culture, preserving Hawaii’s natural environment, and strengthening communities by supporting programs kama’āina treasure and visitors enjoy. It’s also responsible for guiding the direction of Hawaii tourism to support the economic vitality of the state and each individual island. Tourism’s revenue provides jobs, supports businesses and creates opportunities for kama’āina of all generations to grow and prosper.

Hawaii’s tourism industry generates the funding for HTA, which is allocated by the state legislature. HTA works closely with its partners in the legislature, as well as the tourism industry, to ensure its mission is being fulfilled with the state’s best interests in mind. This year alone, the tourism industry is supporting 130 programs across the Hawaiian Islands that will perpetuate Hawaiian culture, showcase community events and programs, and protect natural resources.

Funding recipients in its Kūkulu Ola, Community Enrichment and Aloha ‘Āina programs are qualified nonprofit groups, community organizations and individuals statewide who have demonstrated through proposals submitted to HTA their commitment to preserving the unmatched qualities that distinguish the Hawaiian Islands as a place to live, visit and experience.

The strength of Hawaii’s brand is weighed differently by different audiences, often depending on a personal experience with the destination or particular point of interest, such as culture, the environment, diversity or social relationships. To kama’āina, the significance of Hawaii’s brand is summed up in four words: “This is our home.” This why HTA’s effort to holistically manage tourism is so important to Hawaii’s future.

For more information:, or @HawaiiHTA on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter