Top Stories
Front Page
Student Life
Science & Environment
Arts & Entertainment
Women's Life
Military Matters
Kalamalama Archive

HPU Clubs

Cross Country

Hot Links


Breaking a mold: HTA re-invents Hawaii

by Amanda Palmer, staff writer


On Feb. 9, Frank Haas, director of marketing for Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) and part-time instructor at HPU, addressed the International Association of Business Communicators at a luncheon hosted at the Plaza Club.

In his presentation titled “Breaking the Mold: Telling the World What They Don’t Know About Hawai‘i” Haas discussed the historical trends of tourism in Hawai‘i new approaches to ensure maximum efficiency with minimal impact.


Haas introduced the concept of “sustainable tourism” to luncheon attendees. O’ahu residents express increasing concern over rapid growth that shows no signs of slowing in the near future. The sky is no longer the limit, and as buildings continue to creep into the clouds, people are left to wonder what’s next? Can Hawai‘i endure continued growth without serious repercussions?

In the past, the HTA has promoted Hawai‘i to encourage more visitors to come. Hawai‘i hosted more than seven million visitors in 2004. Resources are stretched to capacity, so increasing the volume of visitors is not only undesirable, it’s nearly impossible. Though the HTA is implementing plans to slow the growth in numbers of visitors, they have yet to introduce a cap and aims to host 7.1 million visitors in 2005.

The HTA is now focusing on increasing the quality of visitors, rather than the number. Instead of having more people, the goal is to attract visitors who spend more money. Haas explained that this approach does not mean that Hawai‘i will become the exclusive playground of the rich and famous. Haas assured his audience that there will still be affordable accommodations and attractions for any budget, but the HTA aims to entice visitors who will spend money to see and do the unique attractions of the islands, rather than simply settling on a $1.50 beach mat to lay idle for a week.

Haas asserted that Hawai‘i must reinvent its image to continue to succeed in today’s competitive market. If a person wants a tropical vacation, what would make them want to choose a pricey vacation in Hawai‘i, as opposed to an economical vacation in Jamaica? The HTA wants to focus on what makes Hawai‘i unique, instead of stereotypical hula outfits and coconut drinks in the sand.
Hawai‘i is also poised to play host to business meetings and national seminars. However, efforts to market Hawai‘i as a venue for serious business have been met with skepticism due to Hawai‘i’s historical and current image as a travel and leisure destination.

The HTA hopes to expand Hawai‘i’s image rather than expand it’s zip code, to show people how diverse and unique the islands truly are. With this approach, Hawai‘i’s natural resources will be conserved and people of the world may continue to enjoy all the islands have to offer.


2005, Kalamalama, the HPU Student Newspaper. All rights reserved. 
This site is maintained by Mark Smith
Website done by Rick Bernico