Nonprofit Rebrands to Reflect Mission

September 9, 2019, 9:30 AM HST
* Updated September 9, 9:10 AM
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The Hawaiʻi Ecotourism Association has a new name.

The nonprofit organization has officially rebranded as the Sustainable Tourism Association of Hawaiʻi (STAH). The rebranding was motivated, in part, to better align with the organization’s mission and goals, a STAH release stated.

“Compared to ecotourism, sustainable tourism is more holistic,” said Lauren Blickley, program manager with STAH. “Whereas ecotourism is limited to nature-based tours or natural resources conservation, sustainable tourism considers communities and cultural conservation, environmental conservation and economic development.”

The mission of the Sustainable Tourism Association of Hawaiʻi is to protect the state’s unique, natural environment and host culture through the promotion of responsible travel and educational programs, relating to sustainable tourism for residents, businesses and visitors.

“We are excited about the growing number of opportunities to support and guide sustainable tourism throughout Hawai‘i,” said Ray Hutaff, STAH President.


Founded in 1995, the organization has supported sustainable tourism initiatives throughout the state for two decades. One of its most notable programs is the Certified Sustainable Tour Operator Program, the only third-party sustainable tour operator certification in the United States, according to the release.


The statewide certification program is designed to educate and recognize Hawaiiʻs tour operators who positively affect natural and cultural resources, contribute to conservation and help sustain local communities, the release continued. The program currently maintains 40 certified tour operators spread across Oʻahu, Maui, Hawaiʻi Island and Kauaʻi.

For more information about the Sustainable Tourism Association of Hawaiʻi, visit

Companies interested in certification can contact [email protected].

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