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President’s Message

August 2021 Issue

During the last 18 months, as we’ve all been navigating this new COVID-19 era reality, I’ve been thinking a lot about the importance of relationships. During the initial lockdowns we were focused on the potential health impacts to those we are closest to, our immediate families and close friends. As Governor Ige made the difficult decision to limit travel to the State of Hawaii, our focus shifted to the strain it would cause our employees, our guests, and those vendors and suppliers with whom we’ve built longstanding business relationships. As 2020 continued, and we saw the impacts of furloughs and record unemployment on our economy, everyone began to discuss the relationship our visitor industry has on our entire community. Since our reopening with Safe Travels nearly 10 months ago, we’ve been in a delicate dance, informing and responding to the evolving concerns and sentiments of our employees, our visitors, and the overall community toward our industry as we collectively work to bring balance and fairness to those relationships, under evolving COVID protocols.

While there was a strong spotlight on the balance of our relationships during COVID, we recognize that the need is ongoing. We are cognizant of how quickly relationships can sour, if the proper time, attention, focus, and care are not given. Like with our family and friends, these business, government, and community relationships require clear communications, attention, respect, and mutual appreciation.

The Hawaii Hotel Alliance (HHA) was formed as a 501(c)6 non-profit organization in February 2021 to strengthen our relationships with both our state and national industry peers, through the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), as well as our elected and appointed government officials in each of our four counties and the state of Hawaii.

As Hawaii’s first state association member of the AHLA, and the exclusive state of Hawaii partner of the American Hospitality Alliance, we are at the forefront of helping to craft legislation that will have serious impacts on our entire industry. We are moving beyond reacting to what the government believes should happen to regulate our industry, to having a seat at the table, so we can collectively determine how to achieve balance for our industry and our state.

The Hawaii Hotel Alliance will also provide exclusive access to independent Hawaii hotels to become members of the AHLA, because we know that independent hotels are an important, but often under-represented, voice in the conversation with elected officials.

Through this newsletter, we’ll introduce you to our mission and vision, as well as highlight the work of key staff and professional partners, helping to strengthen our relationships across the islands. We appreciate the reputation these industry professionals have built over decades and are excited to use their expertise to build stronger partnerships across the state on behalf of HHA.

We invite you to join us to achieve this important mission. Details are provided inside or by reaching out to one of our board of directors or our Administrator Diane Kadomoto,,

(808) 921-6790.

We hope that you’ll join us, as it’s up to all of us, individually and collectively, to build the vibrant visitor industry we want to see in Hawaii. Mahalo!

Jerry Gibson

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