Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) has adopted the Aina Aloha Economic Futures declaration following a recent meeting of its board of directors.
The declaration was drafted by a group of native Hawaiian community members who came together at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the group, the declaration serves as “a starting point to facilitate broader engagement and collective action in support of our shared principles”, and was sent to Governor David Ige on May.
HTA joins thousands of Hawaii community members, businesses and organisations as the declaration takes action to bring to life a resilient economy through its core value of aina aloha – a deep and abiding love for Hawaii’s communities and natural environments.
Naalehu Anthony and Mahina Paishon-Duarte presented Aina Aloha’s guiding principles and four-step community engagement process to the HTA board members and staff.
“The entire initiative is grounded in our kuanaike Hawaii, or Hawaiian perspective, and values that have sustained us for generations, and will continue for many more,” Anthony said.
“The values resonate with all of us who are privileged to call Hawaii home,” Paishon-Duarte added.
“We are in unprecedented times, which require unprecedented leadership, and having the HTA board come stand alongside us is a prime example of that.”
Kalani Kaanaana, director of Hawaiian cultural affairs and natural resources at HTA, is one of the 14 collaborative authors of the Aina Aloha declaration.
Kaanaana said Aina Aloha’s core values are in alignment with HTA’s new strategic plan and its guiding pillars, which include supporting programs that perpetuate the Hawaiian culture, preserving Hawaii’s natural resources, strengthening the community and brand marketing.
“The board’s unanimous adoption of the Aina Aloha Economic Futures declaration is a milestone in the work we do at HTA to move our tourism economy toward a regenerative model guided by our shared values, as we strive to improve the quality of life for Hawaii’s residents,” he said.
Watch what Kaanaana had to say about the declaration in a recent TV interview below:
Featured image source: Hawaii Tourism Authority