The entertainment industry in Hawaii came to a complete stop once the pandemic started. HI Now host Kainoa Carlson talks with Tihati Productions to see how they are pushing through the difficult times.
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Tihati Productions is the largest entertainment company in Hawaii, serving over 1000 employees and individual contractors. As frontline workers in the tourism industry, Misty Thompson-Tufono, General Manager of Tihati Productions, says that it’s important for them to impact the visitors in a significant way through stories and lessons of Hawaiian culture. Although they have not returned to pre-pandemic levels, they are encouraged by the steady uptick in requests for entertainment.
Tihati Productions considers themselves family over co-workers. “Tihati Productions made 50 years in 2019. 50 years as a small business! And to not be here for a year was difficult,” says Misty. The team works 365 days a year, and returning employees mentioned that they’ve missed being together more than anything. “We spend a lot of time together, so we become a work family. And while the tourists are celebrating their honeymoon, we’re backstage celebrating birthdays and graduations,” says Misty.
Small businesses are the workforce of Hawaii’s economy. Tihati Productions has been doing their best to resurrect the business by recruiting and rehiring employees when possible. They look to the state and industry leaders for direction and support and try to navigate the everchanging environment as best they can. “Tens of thousands of people are directly or indirectly related to tourism. So, we’re doing are best to do it responsibly and safely,” says Misty.
For more information: tihati.com, Facebook and Instagram: @tihatiproductions