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Happy New Year -

Hau‘oli Makahiki Hou


Photo Credit: Pierce M Myers Photography

Kahe Wale

‘A‘ohe pu‘u ki‘eki‘e ke ho‘ā’o ‘ia e pi‘i –

No cliff is so tall that it cannot be scaled.

No problem is too great when one tries hard to solve it.

Aloha HVCB Members,


2020 was undoubtedly the most challenging year in the history of hospitality, bringing unimaginable challenges and loss. However, crisis also brings opportunity and like all of you, we looked for new ways to do business and stay connected to our visitors, residents and most importantly, our members.


On March 6, 2020 the first case of COVID-19 was documented in Hawaii. With the news that the virus had hit our islands and a mandatory quarantine put in place, our record-breaking start to tourism in January and February came to a halt. HVCB remained committed to stand by our members and suspended dues for three months. As the pandemic spread globally and the economic impact grew exponentially, we reevaluated our own resources and looked at ways we could ease the financial burden of our members. The decision was made to suspend dues collection for an additional six months through the end of 2020. Members’ dues are our primary source of revenue for the private arm of HVCB and have remained fixed since 1998.


During the 9 months of dues suspension we continued to provide member benefits and build new opportunities. This issue of Kahe Wale is a year in review; a look at our marketing campaign and assets, an update on tools and resources available to you, highlights of new member benefits, and gives insight to what’s to come in 2021.


While we share a sense of relief that 2020 is in the rear-view mirror, we have a long road to recovery ahead. As the economic driver of the state, tourism will play an important role in rebuilding Hawaii’s economy. We are grateful for our continued partnership and are committed to bringing Hawaii’s visitor industry together and providing unique, strategic benefits, to help our members achieve their goals.


From our HVCB ohana to you and yours, we wish you a very Happy New Year.


Mahalo nui loa,

John Monahan, President & CEO, and the HVCB Team


A Year In Review

Marketing Campaign

Marketing utilizes our expertise in public relations, digital, social, search, content development, web development, collateral, and cooperative marketing, in consultation with each of our departments, our Island Chapters and our agency and industry partners. We develop and deliver the Hawaiian Islands statewide and island-specific brands to visitors, content developers, travel sellers and meeting planners. The materials are then served up to the Hawaii Tourism Authority global marketing team members to deliver brand messaging consistently across the globe.

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Malama Hawaii Program

Mahalo to our participating partners in the Malama Hawaii Program inspiring mindful travel. As visitors look forward to traveling when the time is right, we ask them to take a trip that gives back- to Hawaii and to them. Learn more ►

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Access the Vimeo and
YouTube links here

Kuleana Video

HVCB created a revised version of the Kuleana video “Hawaii Travel Tips: Health & Safety.”


Please share this new video and use it at your business: in email confirmations, social platforms, inflight, in-room and onsite.

It's Time Video

View here ►


HVCB Brand Assets- Partner Toolkit

To allow you to see details of the Malama Hawaii destination brand marketing direction and assets, an “HVCB 2020 Brand Assets - Partners” toolkit has been created for your use and is linked below. Housed within it are folders containing updated Hawaiian Islands brand guidelines, as well as various assets including video, photography, copy messaging, social media, logos and information about the Hawaiian culture to use in your sales and marketing initiatives.


You will need to enter your name and email address to access the toolkit and you will have unlimited downloads for one year. Feel free to share access with your internal departments, production teams, etc.


Access Partner Toolkit here ►


New Member Benefits

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Weekly Destination Analysts Reports


Each week HVCB provides access to the latest Key Findings for the Destination Analysts CORONAVIRUS Travel Sentiment Index Report. HVCB's investment in research from Destination Analysts provides added value information not presented in the public deck. This report is distributed on Wednesdays of each week.

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Weekly TravelClick Reports Exclusive for Hotel Partners

HVCB has contracted with TravelClick to provide committed future occupancy and PACE for the state and each county. This information is not available to individual properties and is being shared as a benefit of membership. This report is distributed on Tuesdays of each week and is an exclusive benefit for our hotel partners.

How to Submit your Consumer Special Offer ►

Consumer Special Offers

Market direct to consumers by submitting an exclusive offer that will be hosted on our new destination app! The soon-to-be launched app is designed to enhance travelers pre and post-arrival experiences as well as provide HVCB members the opportunity to create additional reach to the consumer market and showcase what our industry has to offer.


This digital opportunity is a brand new added value benefit of membership and we are offering it complimentary for the first 6 months!


View our submission instructions here for more information on how to upload your offer in Extranet. Please submit your offer by January 15th.

Kamaaina Special Offers Program

While travel restrictions curtailed visitor arrivals, it provided an opportunity for our residents to become reacquainted with all that the islands have to offer. In partnership with our members, a Kamaaina Special Offers program was developed to encourage local residents to recharge, reconnect and renew. The program launched with 300 offers and allowed residents access to exclusive rates and discounts offered by participating partners. Mahalo for giving our local community the opportunity to recharge at a favorite island-getaway, reconnect with family and friends, and rejuvenate the mind, body, and spirit! A 2021 program will be announced shortly. We look forward to a continued partnership.

Complimentary “COVID-19 Updates” Feature for Online Listings

Travel sentiment research shows that consumers are highly concerned with travel related safety protocols. To help you provide this information to your guests, a complimentary COVID update button has been added to your GoHawaii listing.

Login to Extranet to update and activate the new "COVID-19 Updates" feature for your listings on,, and using the following steps:


1. Select "Profile" from menu

2. Select "Accounts"

3. Click on your account name

4. Click "Edit" to add URL to the COVID-19 Information section

5. Click "Save" 

2021 Partnership Opportunities

HVCB and its Island Chapters offer a variety of Leisure, Travel Trade, and MCI marketing opportunities that we encourage you to participate in. Partnership opportunities are part of HVCB’s firm-wide marketing plan to increase travel demand to Hawaii, and include digital and social media marketing, public relations, travel trade, and meeting sales programs. This year, in an effort to increase your marketing efforts worldwide, we provided opportunities available with each of HTAʻs global marketing teams covering Japan, Canada, Oceania and Korea. 

Sustainable Tourism Training

HVCB has formed a partnership with the Sustainable Tourism Association of Hawaii (STAH) to provide industry wide training on issues of sustainability and regenerative tourism. We kicked off the series with Lauren Blickley who provided our member tourism-based companies with a foundational knowledge of sustainability as it relates to business operations.


The “Sustainable Tourism for Business” training covered sustainability tools and opportunities that businesses could immediately implement to minimize their environmental impact and realize cost savings. In addition, the session also discussed third-party sustainability certifications, including Hawaii's Sustainable Tour Operator Certification program, the only third-party ecotourism certification in the state. View recording here ►


Next in the series was an “Ocean Conservation and Reef Safe Sunscreen” webinar which educated members about the importance of the coral reef system to the environment and reviewed Hawaii's sunscreen legislation as it relates to businesses, provided best practices for sun protection to help your business make the most environmentally conscious decision when it comes to sun protection for your guests. View recording here ►


Mahalo to the Sustainable Tourism Association for a great partnership.

Coming Soon Website has been revitalized! While still under construction, the new website is designed to provide our members with up to date information and resources. The site will provide access to research, extranet training videos, membership webinars, cultural training, and marketing assets to help you market your business. Visit

Destination App

We will soon be launching the new GoHawaii – destination app. An added member benefit, that will provide information and resources for visitors both pre and post arrival. The app will create conversion opportunities for our members, drive sustainability through responsible tourism and provide education on the Hawaiian culture, guiding visitors towards responsible behaviors. HVCB members will receive a complimentary listing and have the option to upload consumer offers and advertising.

Member Hoike Program

The Member Hoike is a new program that gives members the opportunity to show our team, from all HVCB departments, what is new and exciting in their business. The goal is to familiarize HVCB with member’s products and services as well as provide updates on existing members’ new offerings. This information will provide us with more resources when we receive media inquiries, requests for recommendations, promotional opportunities and more.


This will be a monthly virtual meeting, held on the second Tuesday of each month. Each participating member will have 10 minutes to make their presentation, followed by 5 minutes of Q&A.


For more information on participating in this opportunity to present to HVCB team members from Membership, Meet Hawaii, Travel Trade, Market Insights, PR and our agencies, as well as, the Island Chapters please email


HVCB Department Updates

Meet Hawaii

Lions and Testing and Teamwork “Oh My” – This was not going to be the Kona Winds picking up, not a storm brewing in the Pacific. All not even close for our HVCB MCI Department and for the hospitality partners in the Islands. This “storm” brought closures, changes in departments additional training and new responsibilities. All not easy but as many we “carried on”. Cancellations of Meetings, Conventions and Incentives were common daily. Out of our constant stormy days came a great opportunity with Lions Clubs International and their International Board Meeting.


We were happy to assist in locating options in the Islands for this Meeting as it would be a great return to the Islands for Lions and profitable for our Hotel Community/Island.


The Hotels meeting the requirements were selected and the site inspection was set for April, then moved to May, July, August, September. All postponed as the 14-day Quarantine was still in place. September rolled in and we did see some light at the end of the storm only to be pushed back once again. It did appear this site would not happen resulting in Hawaii being taken off the list of potential Destinations for 2021-2022. Together with our Hotels we reviewed options to do virtual sites of the properties even with most of them closed at the time. We planned and then revised/planned as did all in Hawaii so many times we almost forgot what Islands they were going to visit. Good news came in October Read more ►


Travel Trade

Maile Brown, KVB (second to left),
with industry partners.

Kumu Kau’i Kanaka’ole and members of
her hālau performed for travel advisors.

HVCB Central and the Island Chapters conducted two sales blitzes in January and March in seven cities reaching 345 travel advisors prior to the coronavirus pandemic. Since then, events have pivoted to virtual platforms and webinars.  Most recently, HVCB conducted a virtual educational event Nov 19-20 featuring 26 supplier partners and attended by 1,099 travel advisors across two days.  The event included destination and supplier presentations and a resource hub with web links, brochures, and videos that advisors will have access to for up to six months.


The travel agent database currently has more than 86,000 email addresses for us to reach Read more



Member Tools & Resources

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COVID Resource Page

A COVID resource page is being provided for the members of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau. We have compiled this information to assist you in navigating through the changing pandemic environment. 

COVID Resource Page ►
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New Membership Brochure

Learn more about HVCB in our new corporate membership brochure! Share this brochure with your business colleagues and help HVCB grow our membership. 

Membership Brochure ►

Extranet Training

As we welcome visitors back to our islands, now is the perfect time to update your account information and refresh your company's descriptive text and imagery. If you are not familiar with the online Membership portal, Extranet, or if you just need a refresher, a recording of a recent training is now available on our YouTube channel. View Training here ►

Hotel Operating Status

As business operations shifted throughout the pandemic, HVCB established the Open and Closed Hotel List to keep consumers, residents, government officials and other industry stakeholders up to date on the status of Hawaii’s hotel industry. Please keep us updated and let us know as your operating status changes. View Hotel Open and Closed List here ►

HVCB Social Media

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Follow us on Facebook, Instagram,
and LinkedIn.
For the majority of 2020, we shifted the member focused HVCB social media strategy to crisis management. These efforts were led with corporate, local, and state guidance. We will continue to drive these efforts into 2021 and guide our HVCB members to a strong tourism recovery. 

Culture & Product Development

Cultural and Product Development is your connection to authentically representing Hawaii. Beneath the breathtaking beauty of these islands, at the core of the destination’s appeal, are the values, culture and language of the indigenous people. Access our members-only cultural services to make sure your organization is aligned with Hawaii’s truly unique point of differentiation.

Video resources to share with your teams:

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Culture 101

We are proud to present an overview of the Hawaiian culture, exploring various topics such as Hawaiian values, customs, traditions and protocols. The emphasis of this lesson is to better appreciate and understand the uniqueness of indigenous culture of the Hawaiian Islands.

Watch Here ►
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Olelo Hawaii

Join us for a short lesson on Olelo Hawaii, the language of the indigenous culture of the Hawaiian Islands. We’ll cover the history and external influences on the language, as well as pronunciation and basic guidelines for the office. This bite-sized tutorial will give you a better understanding of the Hawaiian language and ways to incorporate it in your daily life.

Watch Here ►

Culture & Product Development Services

Visitors from around the world come to experience the breathtaking beauty of these islands as well as the warmth of her people. However, at the core of the destination are the values, culture and language of the indigenous people. Allow HVCB to assist you with the very best representation through our newly offered Members Only cultural services.


HVCB Culture and Product Development Rate Sheet ►

Warrior Marker Program

Under the direction of HVCB Director of Culture and Product Development, Kainoa Daines, the HVCB Warrior Marker Program has been refreshed. There are a total of 149 markers across the state. Each marker is a point of historical, cultural or scenic interest. The warrior marker program will be incorporated into the new GoHawaii destination app, providing a guided experience for visitors to learn more about the Hawaiian Islands.


HVCB Serving the Community

Hotels for Heroes

Working in partnership with many stakeholders, the Hotel for Heroes program was created to provide respite housing for Hawaii’s healthcare workers and first responders. It also brought some much-needed business to our hotel partners. Over 4,500 rooms were booked in two phases, phase 1 was funded by the Hawaii Tourism Authority and phase 2 by the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HIEMA).


Mahalo to the hotels and resorts who generously opened their doors to provide a safe respite for our heroes.

Quarantine Call Center

When Governor Ige implemented the 14-day mandatory quarantine on March 26th, HVCB in partnership with HTA, assisted the state with visitor education and support. Our joint teams contacted all arriving visitors, making 250,000 calls, to help them understand the quarantine rules and make sure they were complying. We also worked with the hotels to help them prepare for arriving visitors and kept them informed of changing regulations. The quarantine call center was dissolved when the pre-testing program was announced.

Visitor Information Calls and Emails

On a busy day, HVCB will answer approximately 35 visitor inquiries a day. When the pre-travel testing program was announced, we were receiving over 2,000 calls a day from visitors eager to get to Hawaii. In order to manage the high volume, we added an email help center to the process. HVCB took on the role of visitor advocate, providing information and assisting visitors to understand the testing requirements. With the holiday season behind us, the calls and email inquiries have slowed however, there is good indication that visitors are looking to plan trips in the first quarter of the year.

Stay Connected to Tourism Program

The Stay Connected to Tourism Program was created to assist Hawaii hospitality industry workers who had been furloughed or laid off. If you have been furloughed or laid off from the Hawaii hospitality industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic or know someone who has, please share this message. Let us help you stay connected to tourism. We are stronger together! To receive newsletters, HVCB event invites and industry updates, subscribe here


We Went Virtual

Though nothing will ever replace our in-person gatherings, members rate events as one of the highest member benefits so we went virtual with over 1,500 registered attendees for our digital membership events!


Webinar: “How to Shift Your Social Media Strategy During the COVID-19 Recovery Period” with Danielle Miller
View Recording Here ►

Webinar: “Ocean Conservation and Reef Safe Sunscreen” with Lauren Blickley
View Recording Here ►

Webinar: "Destination Analysts – A Look into the Data on Traveler Sentiment" with David Reichback
View Recording Here ►

Webinar: "Engaged and Engaging Communication" with Grace Hao
View Recording Here ►

MCI Webinar: "Insights to the Meetings Industry as it Works Toward Recovery"
View Recording Here ►

Webinar: “Handling, Managing, and Leading Change” with Annabel Chotzen
View Recording Here ►

Workshop: "Zoom Fatigue" How to create engaging meetings on Zoom presented by Th!nk

Webinar: "Now, Relax" Wellness and Mindfulness with Makana Risser Chai
View Recording Here ►

Webinar: HVCB Extranet Training
View Recording Here ►

Webinar: HVCB Marketing Presentation
View Recording Here ►

Networking: HVCB Virtual Pau Hana

MCI Virtual Trade Show: “I Mua Hawaii”

Travel Trade: “The Hawaiian Islands Virtual Event: Malama Hawaii”


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 content to Becky Stark by the end of day on the last Friday of every month.


Karen Wataru-Nakaoka

Director of Membership