Representatives from Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) and Hawai‘i Tourism Oceania (HTO) recently attended a function at the home of the New Zealand Consul General in Honolulu.
Held last week, the function followed a three-day responsible tourism project on the Island of Hawaii, where representatives from HTO, Sea Cleaners and youth ambassadors from Australia, New Zealand and Japan cleaned up beaches for International Coastal Clean-up Day.
Hosted by the New Zealand consul general, attendees included the Australian consul general, Japanese consul general, and representatives from Sea Cleaners, Hawaiian Airlines, Marriott, Billabong Australia, as well as the youth ambassadors.
Attending on behalf of HTA were Chris Tatum (president and CEO), Karen Hughes (vice president of marketing and product development) and Chris Sadayasu (tourism brand manager).
Attending on behalf of HTO were Giselle Radulovic (country manager, Australia), Darragh Walshe (country manager, New Zealand) and Charis Ricafuente (senior marketing manager).
The function provided a platform for the youth ambassadors to discuss their learnings from the initiative as well as their personal solutions to marine debris and ocean plastics.
Billabong youth ambassador Lilliana Bowrey was among the group, and spoke of how she would aim to make a difference after returning to Australia.
“It’s been such an eye-opening experience, especially for all of us surfers, who can take the ocean for granted sometimes,” she said.
“When we go back, we’re going to think about luxuries and necessities, and I’ll be telling my friends in the surfing community to pick up plastic, and be aware of what they’re consuming.
“I’ll also be organising plastic-free surf events and sustainable materials in goodie bags.”