Hawai'i State News

Public input sought on how to shape future management of Hawai‘i tourism

Listen to this Article
3 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority wants to know what you think the future of tourism management should look like in Hawai‘i.

Photo Courtesy: Hawaii Tourism Authority

A team is conducting research on how the governance of the state’s tourism industry can be shaped for long-term success. As a part of the process, Better Destinations is seeking input from the community, stakeholders and visitor industry representatives throughout the islands.

“Tourism remains our state’s top economic driver, fostering jobs and career growth for kama‘āina and ensuring the well-being of our communities,” said Hawai‘i Tourism Authority board chairman Mufi Hannemann. “We are not resting on our laurels. We must continue to evaluate our current systems, adapt to improve efficiencies and plan ahead to sustain a vibrant industry and future Hawai‘i.”

A website was launched to provide information about the study. The site includes an online public survey. Anyone who has an interest in Hawai‘i tourism is invited to take the survey and share their thoughts.


Set to be delivered in May, the study aims to determine whether an alternative tourism governance system is necessary, identify areas that need reform and propose policy ideas and modifications to the state tourism authority to ensure better management.

The study will also identify the organizational structure required to support the strategic direction.

“This effort to gather diverse viewpoints is just the first step in the process,” said Hawai‘i Tourism Authority board member Stephanie Iona, who is also co-chairperson of the governance study permitted interaction group. “With the valuable insights we receive from our community, decision makers, industry stakeholders and leaders across Hawaiʻi, the [Hawai‘i Tourism Authority] board and our team will work to build a stronger, more regenerative tourism model for our sustainable future.”


Better Destinations is collaborating with Maui-based Karey Kapoi LLC to secure a wide range of input and participation in the study.

The consulting team also includes Place Generation co-founders Frank Cuypers and Elke Dens, as well as Denise Miller, executive vice president for leading tourism research firm SMARInsights.

“We are bringing together local and global expertise to explore possibilities for creating a strong, responsive system of governance of Hawai‘i tourism,” said Cathy Ritter, founder and CEO of Better Destinations. “Most importantly, we are engaging with the true experts — those who have an interest in the future of Hawai‘i tourism — to identify the best approach for providing long-term guidance and support for a regenerative tourism economy that benefits people and communities across Hawai‘i.”


Better Destinations has already started engagement with tourism leaders and operators, government decision-makers and representatives of community and cultural organizations on O‘ahu, Kaua‘i, Maui and the Big Island. The team is also conducting interviews and meetings with tourism authority staff, board members and stakeholders.

A situation analysis will be shared in April describing the findings of desktop research, U.S. and international case studies of destination governance, interviews and workshops along with initial survey findings.

“The information gathered through this study will be instrumental in strategically managing tourism for the betterment of Hawai‘i’s people and communities throughout the state,” said Hawai‘i Tourism Authority Interim President and CEO Daniel Nāho‘opi‘i. “This work of tailoring a governance structure that is designed specifically for Hawai‘i and our community’s needs is a large undertaking, and we encourage all residents to participate.”

For more information about the study, click here.

Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Big Island Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments