The Department of Research and Development’s Tourism Program provides leadership and financial support to strengthen a community-based visitor industry that ensures authenticity, reciprocity, sustainability, and responsibility, invests in the people and places that host visitors, and appropriately grounds visitor activities in Hawaiʻi Island's sense of place and culture of its first nation. Its efforts are directed by the by the Hawaiʻi Island Tourism Roadmap
The Hawaiian word “pono,” translated literally, means righteous. Island of Hawaiʻi residents and visitors alike are asked to take the Pono Pledge, thereby committing to a more mindful approach to interacting with and preserving the spectacular natural beauty of the island.
I pledge to be pono (righteous) on the island of Hawaiʻi. I will be mindfully seek wonder, but no wander where I do not belong. I will not defy death for breathtaking photos, or venture beyond safety. I will malama (care for) land and sea, and admire wildlife only from afar. Molten lava will mesmerize me, but I will not disrupt its flow. I will not take what is not mine, leaving lava rocks and sand as originally found. I will heed ocean conditions, never turning my back to the Pacific. When rain falls ma uka (inland), I will remain high above ground, out of rivers and streams. I will embrace the island’s aloha spirit, as it embraces me. Lawe i ka maalea i kuonoono. “Take wisdom and make it deep.”
Customer Service and Professional Tour Guide Program Certifications
Registration is now open for classes on Customer Services in Hawaiʻi and Professional Tour Guide certification programs to Hawaiʻi's tourism industry through the University of Hawaiʻi Community Colleges Office of Continuing Education.
The Certificate for Customer Service in Hawaiʻi and Certification for Hawaiʻi Professional Tour Guides training programs are designed for employees in the Hawaiʻi visitor and service-related industries. For registration information, contact Tiana Hirota at firstname.lastname@example.org or (808) 934-2696.
2020 Hawaiʻi Festival & Event ʻMake-Overʻ Consulting Project
Is your event or festival in a slump and in need of a change? The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) is partnering with the International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA World) to present a unique, professional and educational ʻMake-Overʻ consulting opportunity to one special event/festival. To apply and for more information, please visit HTAʻs website.
HTA Rolls Out a Campaign to Educate Visitors
Kuleana Campaign is one part of a multi-pronged approach to share the beauty of the culture of Hawaiʻi while educating visitors on how to travel respectfully while visiting. For more information, see the attached news release.
Closed: Hawaiʻi Island Visitor Promotions Grant for Fiscal Year 2019-2020
R&D is requesting proposals for the visitor promotions grant award in preparation for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. The intent of the grant program is to support marketing initiatives that grow Hawaiʻi Island’s visitor arrivals and expenditures, and strengthen Hawaiʻi Island’s brand to sustain the visitor industry in a way that protects the assets of the island, while providing economic benefit to the island’s businesses and residents. For more information and forms, go to our Funding and Grant Resources page.
Kīlauea Eruption Recovery Information
Hawaiʻi is open for business and initiated a long-term recovery process after the unprecedented 100+ day Kīlauea eruption that occurred on the Island of Hawaiʻi between April and August 2018. Learn more about the eruption and long term recovery process here.
- Air Access: All flights into the Hawaiian Islands are operating normally.
- Accommodations and Activities: All accommodations, activities and attractions throughout the Hawaiian Islands are operating normally.
- Kīlauea Status: The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) continues to closely monitor Kīlauea Volcano and will issue updates and notifications of volcanic activity if warranted.
- Air Quality: Air quality has stabilized since the eruption paused in August 2018. However, air quality in direct proximity to recent volcanic activity, localized to a very small portion of the Lower East Rift Zone can be hazardous due to SO2-sulfur dioxide emissions. Individuals with pre-existing conditions should adjust travel plans accordingly.
- For current traveler information and links, please visit the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority’s Special Alert Page
- For Kīlauea Status, review the HVO weekly update.
Google “Trekker” Virtual Tours on Hawaiʻi Island - This program allows virtual tours to be placed on Google Maps.
Closed: Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) announced it's awarding funding to 95 events and programs in the Hawaiian Island through its Community Enrichment Program (CEP) for the 2020 calendar year. To see list of awards, please see the attached News Release. Tourism Authority (HTA) issued three Request for Proposals (RFP) offering to provide funding support to qualified programs that will help to perpetuate Hawaiian culture, preserve and enhance natural resources and enrich Hawaiʻi’s offering through community-based tourism projects and events in 2020.
- 2020 Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority Community Program awardees
- 2019 Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority Hawaiian Culture,Natural Resources and Community Program awardees
- 2018 Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority Community Program awardees
- Native Hawaiians in Hawaii’s Tourism Sector (State of Hawaii, Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism), April 2017
- Economic Benefits to Local Communities from National Park Visitation (National Park Service, February 2013)
New Tourism Dashboard by Island - Monthly visitor industry statistics
The following visitor industry reports compiled by the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) can be found at HTA’s Research & Reports webpage: