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Photo Credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority

Kahe Wale

Aia no i ke kō a ke au.
Whichever way the current goes.
Time will tell.

 ʻŌlelo Noʻeau No. 69

Aloha HVCB Members,


After a year of navigating the pandemic, it brings a sense of hope and relief to see the current environment moving in a positive direction. As of this writing, we had 481,582 passenger arrivals in April. Of that total, 394,710 were visitors. Of the total arrivals, there were 458,618 exemptions, 82% were visitors arriving with an exemption, compared to just over 18% of residents.* All Hawaiian Islands are now part of the Safe Travels Program, making it easier for residents and visitors to travel to and within Hawaii. Now is not the time to let our guard down. We must practice all safety protocols and take every step necessary to keep the positive case counts to a minimum. Residents on all islands, 16 years of age and older, are eligible for the vaccination. For more information on how to schedule your vaccination please visit


Throughout our communications over the past year, we have carried the message that crisis brings opportunity and we remain steadfast in our commitment to preserve your HVCB membership as a valuable investment. A membership survey was sent out last week. We thank those of you who shared your time to provide us with your invaluable feedback. It will help us to deliver on our commitment to bring you unique and strategic benefits that help you achieve your goals.


The Malama Hawaii campaign has a strong foundation with almost 100 participating partners. The campaign will launch in our target markets in May with a renewed focus on mindful travel and promoting enriching experiences that help perpetuate, and even regenerate, the natural beauty of our destination.


We hope that you enjoy this issue of Kahe Wale, please let us know what you like best by participating in the poll below. 


Until next month,

John Monahan, President & CEO, and the HVCB Team




Member Spotlight

The Member Spotlight is designed to recognize an individual of a member company for outstanding service in the community, special achievements, or demonstration of going above and beyond the normal expectations of their job.


If you would like to nominate a deserving co-worker or industry colleague, please complete the nomination form and submit it by the 30th of each month for consideration in a future month’s communication. Note, your submission confirms that the nominee has given permission to be recognized in a member communication.


All nominations will be reviewed by an independent panel and the nominator/honoree will be notified before the dissemination of information by HVCB. Nominee’s not chosen will remain in consideration for future member spotlights. For more information please contact Manager of Membership Development and Engagement, Becky Stark at


Submit Nomination ►



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Welcome to Our New Members

HVCB - Corporate Brand Refresh

Last January, HVCB launched a refresh of our corporate brand. Going back to our warrior roots, we redesigned our logos, corporate letterhead, and membership materials. Then came the pandemic, and with it, a halt to our distribution. With tourism beginning to recover and everyone ready for a fresh restart, there’s no better time than now! Your new window decals and membership certificates were distributed this week. Additional window decals are available up on request. Also included was a copy of our new membership brochure. The data is pre-covid information but the foundation of the information remains the same. Please share it with someone you think should know more about HVCB membership. Our corporate website has a new look too. It’s still under construction but you’ll find valuable resources like market insights, covid resources, your membership logo, and more. We’d love to have your feedback! Email us at with comments or suggestions.

Digital Cooperative Marketing Opportunity

In partnership with our marketing team, we are developing a Spring Co-Op opportunity that is exclusive to our HVCB Members. This is your chance to drive bookings to your business from the U.S. domestic market for Quarters 2 and 3!


Members who are interested or would like more information about this opportunity, please contact: Managers of Membership Development and Engagement: Becky Stark at 808 924-0232,, or Armida York at 808 924-0233,

COVID-19 Resources

Visit for updated resources to Safe Travels information, Air Service, Open/Closed Lists, Safety Protocols and more.

Account Update

Please help keep your account up to date by providing updated contacts, images, number of employees, and listing updates. Login to Extranet here to update your account. For help, you can view our Extranet Training Video Here►

In Case You Missed It

Mahalo to our members who attended the HVCB Membership Webinar: "Edelman 2021 Trust Barometer" with Russell Dubner, President & CEO of Edelman U.S., Christie Bishop, Executive Vice President of Integrated Brand Marketing, Edelman U.S., and Jay Talwar, HVCB Chief Marketing Officer. In case you missed it, you can view the recording here►


We continue to share Safe Travels protocols with potential, incoming, and on-island visitors, as well as with media flights that include residents across the state, as we are developing Malama Hawaii content that will launch across all media mid-May.


The PR team is coordinating statewide and island-specific stories with targeted content developers as they have moved into the phase of actively developing earned media coverage of the current travel protocols to Hawaii and the overall Malama Hawaii brand positioning.

Market Insights

Two exciting new resources are now available on the HTA Research website, thanks to HTA’s subscriptions to YouGov’s BrandIndex and consumer Profiles databases. The HVCB Market Insights has developed two reports, which will be updated regularly.

    • The monthly Coronavirus Travel Sentiment Tracker for Avid Travelers sheds light on HVCB’s target audience’s future travel plans, demographic distribution, and leisure travel behaviors and mindsets. This tracker will also be available on under Market Insights.
    • The weekly Destination Index Trends - Responsible Travelers report shows changes over time in key metrics, such as purchase intent and likelihood to recommend Hawaii as a destination, for travelers who are wellness-focused and culturally minded, and also care about the environment.


We hope both reports will be useful resources for local industry stakeholders, as we continue towards economic recovery and making Hawaii a more sustainable, resilient destination.

Travel Trade

The travel trade team continues to focus on educating travel advisors on Hawaii's travel protocols through a variety of virtual platforms.  The team has over 24 virtual and in-person events scheduled over the next few months estimated to reach over 4500 travel advisors: including HVCB's own virtual educational event May 12-13.


In addition, the team is working with Northstar Travel Group to develop new content for travel advisors featuring traveler types.  These digital guides will launch with a module focused on mindful travel and follow up with subsequent modules on culture, culinary and outdoor travel.  The Malama Hawaii concept will be woven throughout all modules and provide examples of how visitors can engage in these activities throughout the islands. Materials will be accessed as downloadable content within the travel agent portal in a format that can be shared with their clients.  The launch is scheduled for early summer.  

Cultural Connection

Every day is “lei day” in Hawaii nei, but the idea of “May Day is Lei Day,” as suggested by Honolulu Star-Bulletin columnist Grace Tower Warren and poet Don Blanding was first celebrated in 1928.


Lei, whether made of flowers, shells, or any variety of resources, are made and given with love – the ultimate personification of aloha.


However, as we approach May Day 2021 amid coronavirus and the hope of vaccines, here are a few helpful suggestions to safely celebrate a most revered Hawaiian tradition.

  1. Use what you have.
    • Supporting local lei vendors is always welcome, but if you’re unable to get to the lei stand this year, use what you have around your home or within your neighborhood. You should obviously ask permission or know what you can and cannot pick, but making your own lei always feels good.
  2. Share with your loved ones.
    • Still isolating? Make a lei for your ohana at home or wear your own homemade creation proudly. Again, there’s just as much satisfaction in wearing a lei as there is in making one.
  3. Be okay without the embrace.
    • While we are still maintaining a safe distance from one another, it’s okay to hand someone a lei or gently lay it down for them to pick up. Customarily we would give a lei with a hug and a honi (kiss), but during this time of caution, your gesture of aloha will still be received.

So while we may not be assembling at our local parks or strutting our lei-adorned selves around town this May 1st, we can certainly keep the spirit of the day alive and well.


E lei no au i ko aloha – I will wear your love as a beautiful adornment. Olelo Noeau 333

HVCB Island Chapters

Kauai Visitors Bureau

Safe Travels

Kauai has rejoined Hawai‘i’s Safe Travels Pre-Travel Testing Program allowing transpacific travelers to bypass the mandatory 10-day quarantine by taking a test within 72 hours from their last leg into the State of Hawaii from a Trusted Testing and Travel Partner. Upload the test results to their Safe Travel profile, get screened at the airport and enjoy the island while masking and social distancing.  Reminder:  Please ensure your guests have their test results BEFORE boarding the plane.  Pending tests result in a full 10-day quarantine.  

Kokua Kauai Card

Kauai County is encouraging transpacific travelers to take a voluntary post-travel COVID-19 test 72 hours after arriving to the Garden Island at selected testing locations. Travelers who post-test will receive a Kokua Kauai Card. Use the QR code to access offers and discounts at participating local shops, restaurants and activities! For more details and a list of testing sites, visit and   

Ocean Friendly Visitors Program

Surfrider Foundation/Kauai has launched a new Ocean Friendly Visitors Program, which includes solo beach cleanup, supporting ocean friendly restaurants, amongst other opportunities.  Learn more about the program here►

Oahu Visitors Bureau

OVB PR/Media

In public relations and communications, the OVB has sent out our renamed refocused “News, Updates and Aloha from Oahu” eNewsletter to national and local media on March 16, sharing updates and news on reopening efforts by the travel industry.  If you have future news or updates to share with media, please send to Joy Goto (  Tentatively, the next media eNewsletter will be going out mid-June.  On March 30, OVB hosted a virtual PR Colleagues meeting to collaborate our destination messaging and efforts with industry PR personnel.  OVB along with HVCB shared our current messaging strategy programs for 2021, an update on the Malama campaign and Market Research Insights.  The first meeting was specific to hotel partners and issues and the second was for non-hotel partners, including but not limited to activities and attractions.  OVB will continue these quarterly PR meetings with the next one scheduled for June 22.  Upcoming media visits to Oahu include journalists representing Cool Hunting, Travel + Leisure, USA Today, Budget Travel, OC Register and LA Parent. OVB is working with Zahrah Farmer, the host and producer of Days with Zahrah, who is on island from April 10 - 20 to film an episode of the show. Days with Zahrah airs on KGO-TV (ABC7) in the San Francisco Bay Area and has been on TV for 14 years (with 8.5 years on ABC), but is preparing to go back on air in June 2021. The Hawaii episode will air late June/early July 2021, and will also stream on Amazon Prime in the future (streaming date for Prime TBC). The “Hawaii Strong” episode of the show has the goal of encouraging safe travel to Hawaii, and will serve as an overview of the Safe Travels Program while also highlighting safe, family-oriented experiences on Oahu.    

OVB Travel Trade

In the travel trade arena, OVB has been working with partners on OVB travel advisor Mailpound webinars to continue to provide destination updates, and safety and Safe Travels protocols.  The most recent webinar was on April 8 that focused on “Enriching Family Travel to Oahu.”   On March 31, we collaborated with NorCal Hawaii Ohana Chapter on their partnership webinar and on March 3, OVB partnered with the Midwest Hawaii Ohana on their webinar.  OVB also collaborated with one of our OMS on a webinar for her advisory group.  Travel Trade eNewsletters are being schedule to ensure that our travel advisors continue to be updated on the destination, the target focus and the Malama efforts.  On April 13, OVB distributed the travel agent eNewsletter.   OVB is collaborating with HVCB and the other IC in trade events.  OVB will be participating on the Hawaii Leisure Virtual Event on May 12 & 13.  For more information, reach out to Robyn Basso (  


Under the MCI and Meet Hawaii banner, OVB continues to support the Meet Hawaii team.  OVB has been supporting HVCB and industry efforts in sharing the importance and the safety of live structured events to the Mayor and his team.  OVB will be participating in HVCB’s Meet Hawaii Virtual Trade event focusing on the Incentive and Corporate Planners, April 28 & 29. 


In other areas, OVB has been working closely with HTA, C&C of Honolulu and a selected steering committee on developing Destination Management Action Plans (DMAP’s).  The purpose is to rebuild, redefine and reset the management of tourism on Oahu over a three year period through a collaborative process that engages Oahu’s visitor industry, communities and government.  On May 4 and May 5, public presentations on the draft version of the Oahu DMAP will commence, providing the public the opportunity to see the actions and provide feedback.  We encourage our industry to attend.   

Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau

MVCB PR/Marketing 2021

MVCB partnered with Hawaiian Airlines and Fairmont Kea Lani to promote a Super Heroes contest to recognize individuals who have shown extreme compassion to help others with trips to Maui. Learn More Here►


Upcoming media visits to Maui include journalists representing Reader’s Digest,, Money, Inc., Travel + Leisure and TravelAge West.


MVCB is working with the County of Maui on promoting the Malama Maui County Pledge. In production now is a rack card and video, which will be ready in May. The rack card also includes important information on the Road to Hana Code of Conduct and Waianapanapa State Park reservation system. View Pledge Card Here► 


In support of Maui County Farm Bureau’s current campaign, “Grown on Maui, Buy Local” and title sponsorship of the Cooking Hawaiian Style Season 15, MVCB is sponsoring one episode featuring Sissy Lake Farm, Bailey House Museum. With a premiere date of July 5, this program will have a broad reach with Spectrum, Roku TV and social media components.


On March 23, 2021 the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau hosted our fourth 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. In the March meeting we had Jeffery Eslinger, Senior Director, Market Insights with Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau give us an updated presentation on market conditions. John Reyes - Senior Vice President Chief MCI Sales Officer presented an update on Meet Hawaii. After the presentations we discussed upcoming sites, FAMs and asked for feedback.  


 The following Stakeholders attended:

  • Wailea Beach Resort
  • Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa
  • Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort
  • Westin Maui Resort & Spa
  • Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa
  • Kaanapali Beach Hotel
  • Courtyard Maui Kahului Airport
  • Wailea Golf


Over the dates April 4- 7 Maui Nui hosted 10 planners and 1 escort from Meeting’s Today. Overall it was an excellent showing of Maui and all attendees had group business for Maui Nui. After the pre- fam the group attended the Meeting’s Today conference on the Island of Hawaii. Conference had 26 qualified meeting planners in attendance. 

Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau

Meetings Today LIVE!

Meetings Today LIVE! hosted its first in-person event of 2021 at Fairmont Orchid on Hawaii Island, connecting suppliers from the Hawaiian Islands with 22 qualified meeting and incentive planners. Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau would like to send our appreciation to the partners - and their great teams - who contributed to a very successful, safe program. County of Hawaii; Meet Hawaii; Aloha Kona Urgent Care; Fairmont Orchid; Roberts Hawaii; Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection; Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel; Kailani Tours; Lava Lava Beach Club; Westin Hapuna Beach Resort; Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative; and Maui Visitors & Convention Bureau. Mahalo to Lynn at Meetings Today, Lauren at DeSilva Meeting Consultants, and Kailani Marketplace vendors (Kuleana Rum Works, OK Farms, Hāmākua Mac Nuts, Kaʻū Coffee, Volcano Winery, Greenwell Farms, Maureen’s Island Gems, Hailama Designs, and 2400 Farenheit Glass Blowers). Awesome teamwork! Please enjoy this video ►

Banner Anniversaries!

In light that all that we have been through in 2020, Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau would like to take a moment to acknowledge some of our partners that are celebrating banner anniversaries.


In celebrating of the 15th birthday, Imiloa Astronomy Center provides free Imiloa Explorer’s Kit with 10 curated crafts – perfect for your keiki who may not have returned full-time to the classroom. It can be downloaded from their website and includes instructions and video tutorials. While the Center has not yet fully re-opened to the general public, they did provide Imiloa-specific curriculum for elementary school children from July 2020. From humble beginnings at Kealakekua Bay, Kona Boys celebrates 25 years of aquatic adventures, amazing people, and life lessons. Kona Boys has restructured some of these offerings, activities and products and recommitted to their core values of caring for the delicate island ecosystem, perpetuating Hawaiian culture, and providing service with aloha. Fairmont Orchid celebrates 30 years with a special package that not only includes a fourth night free and $300 dining credit, but $30 from every package booked benefits the Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative to protect, promote and restore the 275-acre lowland dry forest. In celebration of 30 years on the Kohala Coast, Fairmont also planted 30 wiliwili trees in the Waikoloa dry forest. Hawaii’s oldest food festival, Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, celebrates 50 years on Hawaii Island! The event “brews” November 5-14, 2021. Support the festival and its many volunteers by purchasing a 50th anniversary button --- for only $5 the button allows you to enjoy nearly 50 events for ten days and special rates for ticketed events. If you are celebrating a banner year, please let us know –

HTA Updates

2021 March Visitor COVID-19 Study

Hawaii Tourism Authority released the results of a special tracking study, which surveyed visitors from the U.S. mainland who visited Hawaii from February 12 through February 28, 2021.


The survey gauges visitors' experience with Hawaii’s Safe Travels program and overall trip satisfaction.


View Report Here ►

State of Hawaii

Inter-County Travel

Gov. David Ige, Lt. Gov. Josh Green, Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara and county mayors unveiled a Vaccination Travel Protocol Program on Tuesday, that will allow individuals who have been fully vaccinated in the State of Hawaii to bypass pre-travel testing and/or quarantine when traveling within the State of Hawaii.


View Governor's Press Release Here ►

State of Hawaii and Airline Carriers Partner to Expand Pre-Clear Programs to Ease Summer Travel

In anticipation of increased travel to the Hawaiian Islands during the upcoming summer months, Gov. David Ige and his Hawaii Safe Travels team have led an effort to establish and expand Pre-Clear programs with domestic and international airline partners that allow travelers to confirm compliance with the Safe Travels Program prior to departure and bypass mandatory airport screenings upon arrival.


The pre-clearance option not only helps keep Hawaii communities safe, but also streamlines the arrival process, providing travelers peace of mind and confidence in booking a trip to the Hawaiian Islands.


View Press Release Here ►

AlohaSafe Alert App

AlohaSafe Alert is a free, voluntary new service that helps slow the spread of COVID-19. It is the State of Hawaii’s official exposure notification app and has been developed in partnership with the Hawaii State Department of Health.


Download the AlohaSafe Alert app to get COVID-19 exposure notifications and help keep Hawaii safe and healthy – all while maintaining your privacy.


Please note the County of Maui Public Health Emergency Rules now require the download of the AlohaSafe Alert application or other Google-Apple exposure notification system application for all travelers on the Safe Travels program and those who obtain a limited quarantine exemption.


Learn More Here ►

What's Happening Around our Industry

Jeffrey Yedlin Appointed Hotel Manager of Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort

Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort announced that Jeffrey Yedlin has been appointed as the resort’s hotel manager. Yedlin brings 25 years of experience to the top executive role at Hilton’s largest property worldwide, and will be in charge of overseeing all operations of the resort spanning 22 beachfront acres and 2,860 guest rooms.


View Press Release Here ►

Kauai Marriott Resort Reflagged as Royal Sonesta Kauai Resort

Royal Sonesta Kauai Resort is proud to join the Sonesta International Hotels Corporation U.S. portfolio, expanding the brand’s national footprint in key tourism regions and contributing to the company’s monumental 350% growth in less than six months.


View Press Release Here ►

Member Testimonials

“Very supportive and efficient for a small business on Maui” -Mars Simpson, Lona Ridge


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, April 30th.


Karen Wataru-Nakaoka

Director of Membership