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Hawai‘i Tourism Authority launches new campaigns to stimulate meaningful travel demand

Maui Fresh Streatery

The Hawaii Tourism Authority has unveiled new global campaigns, spotlighting Hawaiian culture and responsible travel, aiming to boost visitor demand and support local communities through thoughtful tourism practices.

HONOLULU – The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) has launched new targeted campaigns as part of its global marketing and visitor education efforts. The purpose of these initiatives is to reinvigorate responsible travel demand from key markets around the world to the Hawaiian Islands.

“We are being more assertive in our messaging strategy with inspiring campaigns that spotlight Hawai‘i’s people, culture and experiences unlike anywhere else in the world,” said Mufi Hannemann, HTA board chair. “We need to ensure that the Hawaiian Islands stay top-of-mind among travelers amidst the competitive global market, especially as we head into the summer and fall.”

“The People. The Place. The Hawaiian Islands.” uplifts Hawai‘i’s musicians, lei makers, chefs, farmers, culturalists, fashion designers, and others in their sectors that rely on a vibrant visitor industry. Some of the individuals who will be featured in the campaign in the coming months include Chef Kyle Kawakami of Maui Fresh Streatery; Meleana Estes, Creative Director and Author of Lei Aloha; and Kainani Kahaunaele, Musician and Educator; with others to follow.

“The People. The Place. The Hawaiian Islands.” is aimed at the Hawai‘i target traveler, defined as those who are eco-conscious, mindful of safety precautions, interested in learning about the culture of the places that they visit, and want to protect the Islands’ natural resources. The campaign will be deployed in the continental U.S. first through an integrated marketing effort leveraging earned, digital, social media, and travel trade education. While this campaign will have a heavier emphasis on supporting Maui, it will also build on each island brand and will be utilized by HTA’s global marketing teams in their respective markets and Hawai‘i partners worldwide.

“The People. The Place. The Hawaiian Islands.” will be live in-market mid-May.

In Japan, the “Beautiful Hawai‘i” and “Yappari Hawai‘i (“It’s Gotta be Hawai‘i”) campaigns are already underway with an integrated mix of digital and TV advertising, social media, earned media, partnerships and trade education to drive bookings.

“Beautiful Hawai‘i” shares the characteristics and key experiences within the Hawaiian Islands to inspire visitors from Japan to return, emphasizing the notion that “travel can make the world beautiful.”

“Yappari Hawai‘i (It’s Gotta be Hawai‘i)” has generated more than 61 million impressions to date, including on taxi and bus signage, social media, and digital banners on Yahoo! Japan and Google. In addition, HTJ garnered participation from 22 industry partners with special offers as a part of the campaign.

“Redeveloping our higher-spending international markets, including Japan, is key to balancing our visitor mix throughout the state,” said Daniel Nāho‘opi‘i, HTA’s interim president and CEO. “The campaigns promote regenerative tourism by encouraging visitors to support our local businesses and enjoy a range of experiences that are accessible to them, while strengthening The Hawaiian Islands’ brand and travelers’ perceptions about Hawai‘i. These campaigns build upon the concept of educating visitors to mālama -care for Hawai‘i- which remains at the core of our efforts.”

Meleana Estes

Meleana Estes, Creative Director and Author of Lei Aloha.

According to industry-standard research by SMARInsights commissioned by HTA, every dollar spent on strategic, paid placement of campaigns in the U.S. and Japan in 2023 resulted in $399 of visitor spending and $31 of state tax collections.

Development and deployment of the new campaigns are under HTA’s management through its global marketing teams: Hawaiʻi Tourism United States and Hawaiʻi Tourism Japan.

The new campaigns mark the evolution in visitor education messaging focused on sharing the stories of Hawai‘i’s people, cultures and customs. In 2019 with “Hawai‘i Rooted,” HTA and its global marketing teams educated visitors prior to their arrival, while the “Kuleana” travel tips video series educated travelers on-island about how to visit safely and responsibly. In 2021, in the wake of the global pandemic, “Mālama Hawai‘i” was launched, inspiring visitors to take part in caring for the Islands and the community.

Following the August 2023 wildfires on Maui, “Mālama Maui” encouraged travelers to return with respect and compassion. For tourism to best support the post-wildfires recovery, “Mākaukau Maui” launched to support residents who were ready to return to work by assuring visitors that Maui is ready to welcome visitors.

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Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.