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Photo Credit: Armida York

Kahe Wale

‘A ‘ohe mea nana e ho‘opuhili, he moho no ka lā makani.

There is no one to interfere, for he is a messenger of a windy day.

Said in admiration of a person who lets nothing stop them from carrying out the task entrusted to them. - ʻŌlelo Noʻeau No. 189

Aloha HVCB Members,


There is a feeling of hope and optimism circulating in the industry. A reduction in positive COVID-19 cases and the rollout of the Hawaii vaccination program, along with reports that travelers are more and more ready to travel bring a much-welcomed sense of a start to recovery.


You have persevered through what we believe to be the most challenging period of this pandemic. You have not let anything stop you from taking care of your team members, the community, and our visitors. All while taking care of the needs of your own ohana, that’s what we do, we carry out the tasks that are entrusted to us.


Based on what we are hearing, we expect to see a slight uptake in spring break arrivals, and summer is showing some promise. The recovery will come slowly, and we expect steadily.


Hawaii continues to emerge as one of the top desired vacation destinations. We are carefully watching the market and our new campaigns will align with travel readiness.


Mahalo to you, our members, for your steadfast commitment to the industry. Brighter days are ahead.



John Monahan, President & CEO, and the HVCB Team

Member Spotlight

Join us in congratulating Jason Cutinella, Founder and CEO of NMG Network, for winning Entrepreneur of the Year for the 2021 HVCA Entrepreneur Awards!



Jason Cutinella is Founder and CEO of Nella Media Group (now known as NMG Network). After launching his career at McCann Erickson Worldwide as a media buyer for the Sony Pictures account and then transitioning to working on the client side of Sony Music International in New York City, Jason relocated to Hawaii in 2004 to pursue a master’s degree in communications from Hawaii Pacific University.


With a vision to transform the way that content is created and distributed in Hawaii and beyond, Jason founded NMG in 2009 in order to connect travelers and sophisticated urbanites to authentic experiences. To expand from print into digital content and reach new markets, Jason spearheaded the acquisition of Visitor Video Inc., Hawaii’s leading visitor industry video distribution company, to create NMG Network and enrich the company’s diverse storytelling capabilities.


Learn more about Jason and the NMG Network team here


We want to hear from you! Which of the following benefits of membership would you find most valuable this year?

After responding, if you need to make a change, click here.

HTA Updates

Hawaii Visitor Statistics Released for January 2021

Hawaii’s visitor industry continues to be impacted significantly by the global COVID-19 pandemic. In January 2021, visitor arrivals dropped 80.1 percent compared to a year ago, according to preliminary statistics released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s (HTA) Tourism Research Division.


View Full Release Here ►

January 2021 Hawaii Vacation Rental Performance Report

In January 2021, the total monthly supply of statewide vacation rentals was 433,000 unit nights (-44.3%) and monthly demand was 167,500 unit nights (-73.9%), resulting in an average monthly unit occupancy of 38.7 percent (-53.1 percentage points).

View Report Here ►


New Media Site

Hawaii Image

The PR team launched a new media site that offers destination news and updates, story inspiration, digital assets and other media resources. In addition to fresh images and videos, the site also includes the latest COVID-19 entry protocol information. Check it out and feel free to direct media here: 

Travel Trade

The travel trade team has been focused on educating travel advisors through a variety of virtual platforms. Since the beginning of the year, the team has conducted educational sessions reaching over 3,000 travel advisors nationally. The team also continues to collaborate with Hawaii supplier partners through meetings to discuss joint training opportunities; resulting in 24 educational sessions confirmed for March.


Travel advisor engagement continues to grow, with 1,597 new certified Hawaii Destination Specialists in the first two months of 2021, and an additional 1,604 new registrants to the travel agent website.


Building up on the success of the first travel trade virtual event held late last fall, the travel trade team will be hosting another two-day virtual event May 12-13. Interested partners should plan to “save the date” with additional details forthcoming. The 2020 event drew more than 1,000 travel advisors attending live. The event format allows for participating suppliers to present a 5-minute video, engage in post event networking rooms, and submit up to 3 resources for travel advisors to access. For more information, contact Erica Neves at

Cultural Connection

March 26th is the day Hawaii celebrates the life and memory of Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole. We celebrate and honor the birthday of Hawaii’s second delegate to Congress, affectionately known as “Prince Cupid” because of his cherubic façade. Prince Kuhio was born in Koloa, Kauai in 1871. He was the youngest of three sons of Kauai High Chief David Kahalepouli Piikoi and Princess Kinoiki Kekaulike, younger sister of Queen Kapiolani. He served as the Territory of Hawaii’s delegate to Congress from 1903 to 1921. In 1918, he established the first Hawaiian Civic Club to stimulate civic efforts and education within the Hawaiian community and to promote Hawaiian culture. Today there are over 60 Hawaiian Civic Clubs nationwide.


Because King Kalakaua and Queen Kapiolani had no children of their own, Jonah Kuhio, Edward Keliiahonui, and David Kawananakoa were legally adopted and given the rank of Prince. Thus, he was in line to the throne before the monarchy was overthrown in 1893.


In addition to the Hawaiian Civic Club movement, he resurrected the Royal Order of Kamehameha I after the noble organization went underground after the overthrow, and reinvigorated King Kamehameha Day festivities.


A few of his major accomplishments include a $27 million federal appropriation for the dredging and construction of Pearl Harbor and the establishing of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.


A graduate of Oahu College (now called Punahou School), Kuhio is best remembered for his success in Congress passing the 1920 Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, providing homesteads for Native Hawaiians. He believed strongly in his Uncle David’s philosophy, “Hooulu aahui – Increase the Nation.” He planned to return Hawaiians to the land, encouraging them to be self-sufficient farmers, ranchers, and homesteaders on leased parcels of reserved land, just as their ancestors had done. The act was officially signed into law by President Harding on July 9, 1921 – this year marking its 100th anniversary.


Kuhio was also known as Ke Alii Makaainana or “The Citizen Prince,” because of his love for his people. He died of heart disease on January 7, 1922, at the age of 50, and is laid to rest today at Maunaala, the Royal Mausoleum in Nuuanu Valley on Oahu.


Let’s remember that Kuhio is more than a highway on Kauai, an avenue running through Waikiki, or a mall in Hilo. He was a leader, a thinker, a doer, a Prince, a man with great foresight, and a proud son of Hawaii!

HVCB Island Chapters

Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau

MVCB PR/Marketing 2021

Hard to believe but we’re already approaching springtime 2021! All of us at the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau (MVCB) continue to be thankful for everyone’s dedication as we continue to restore and rejuvenate our Maui Nui community.

MVCB recently launched a new Molokai Travel Pono video with cultural practitioner Kanoelani Davis through its social media channels. Kanoelani invites the viewers to experience a deeper connection when visiting her island home by coming with humility, an open mind and readiness to embrace the aloha spirit. View video here►

In addition, Maui’s social media coverage included the announcement of a new reservation system for Waianapanapa State Park that started on March 1, which garnered over 11,500 impressions on Facebook and engaged over 4,500 followers on Instagram.


Upcoming media visits to Maui include journalists representing Reader’s Digest, Boston Globe, and


We’re also working on an exciting project with the County of Maui to introduce the Malama Maui County Pledge. More details to come in the next edition of Kahe Wale.


On February 12, 2021, Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau hosted our third monthly MCI update. This meeting is designed to update the Sales and Marketing Directors of the Maui Nui Resorts of the COVID procedures, Meet Hawaii changes and sales direction, marketing opportunities and direction and to proactively keep our MCI Members informed. 


Jeffery Eslinger, Senior Director, Market Insights with Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau, provided an update on Market Insights, while John Reyes, Senior Vice President and Chief MCI Sales Officer, presented a Meet Hawaii update. A discussion of future FAMs and sites are a part of the meetings. Stakeholders in attendance included:

  • Fairmont Kea Lani
  • Wailea Beach Resort
  • Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa
  • Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort
  • Westin Maui Resort & Spa
  • Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa
  • Grand Wailea Maui, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
  • Kaanapali Beach Hotel
  • Courtyard Maui Kahului Airport


Our next meeting is scheduled for March 18, 2021 at 10am.


Welcome to Our New Members

We’d like to extend a warm welcome to our new members. Nothing makes us happier than when members recruit members. Mahalo to Dionne Teves of Kipu Ranch Adventures for referring Ali‘i Kayaks.

Member Hoike Program

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to show HVCB team members, from all departments, what is new and exciting with your business! The Member Hoike program is a monthly virtual meeting, where each participating member gives a 10-minute presentation that is followed by 5 minutes of Q&A. The goal is to familiarize HVCB with your products and services as well as provide updates on any new offerings you may have. If you are interested in participating in a future Hoike or would like to learn more, please contact Becky Stark at

In Case You Missed It

Mahalo to our members who participated in our COVID-19 Vaccine Overview – Efficacy and Advocacy Webinar with Lieutenant Governor Josh Green, Dr. Deb Friesen and David Tumilowicz of Kaiser Permanente and Roseann Freitas of the Better Business Bureau. In case you missed it, you can view the recording here►

What's Happening Around our Industry

Coconut Waikiki Hotel Appoints New GM, Jeffrey Nagata

The Coconut Waikiki Hotel is pleased to announce the appointment of Jeffrey Nagata as their new General Manager, effective December 28, 2020. He joins Coconut Waikiki Hotel from Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club where he served as Director of Room Operations.


View Press Release Here ►

Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina Announces the Appointment of Michael Mestraud as General Manager

Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina announces the appointment of Michael Mestraud as General Manager and Vice President Residential Operations – Americas for the luxury resort. A 22-year Four Seasons veteran, Mestraud brings a wealth of international experience, specifically in resort destinations and residential operations.


View Press Release Here ►

Kaimana Beach Hotel is Hiring

The iconic Hau Tree at Kaimana Beach Hotel has re-opened under new ownership, seeking enthusiastic, hospitality-driven professionals who can provide authentic connections and deliver curated handcrafted experiences with passion.

  • General Manager at Hau Tree
  • Executive Chef
  • Sous Chef
Apply Here ►

Monkeypod Kitchen to Anchor Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort

Outrigger Hospitality Group today announced that Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman, led by culinary pioneer and a Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine founder – Chef Peter Merriman, will have a new home as the signature beachfront restaurant at the transformed Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort.


Monkeypod Kitchen is a modern, casual, chef-driven concept founded on a passion for the art of craft. Each item on the menu demonstrates a commitment to high-quality local fare, creative preparations and impeccable execution. The menu highlights Hawaii’s bounty with socially conscious ingredients and distinctive parings of upmarket items with upcountry favorites.


View Press Release Here ►

Removing Financial Barriers: Southwest Airlines Delivers Gift of Travel for Medical Patients and Caregivers

Southwest Airlines announced it has donated 7,500 roundtrip tickets to help remove the financial burden for those who need to travel for life-changing or specialized medical care. More than 75 nonprofit hospitals and medical transportation organizations across the United States received the tickets through Southwest’s® Medical Transportation Grant Program, allowing them to bring patients and caregivers closer to much-needed medical care.


View Full Story Here ►

Member Testimonials

“HVCB is a great organization that has helped me continue and foster my professional network. HVCB has been a great resource for me as they offer tools to further my career development and keep me informed of current and important issues within the association, and the larger business community. I especially appreciate the Membership team for consistently exhibiting genuine relationship with their members/partners and acting generously whenever I need help or assistance. Of all the organizations that seek my membership as a hotelier, HVCB is without a doubt the best investment of any!”

-Josephine Tedrowe, Coconut Waikiki Hotel and Shoreline Hotel Waikiki

See more ►

Kahe Wale Content

HVCB is happy to accept your feedback, stories, content and news for our industry updates section of Kahe Wale. Please send Kahe Wale feedback to and submit newsletter content to Becky Stark by the end of day on Friday, March 26th.


Karen Wataru-Nakaoka

Director of Membership