The first rule in tourism development is that the wellbeing of destination residents must come first. Unfortunately, the majority of Hawaii residents now think that tourism in Hawaii is being run for tourists at the expense of local residents. The perception of being relegated to second class was first reported by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) in 2005. HTA is a semi-autonomous state government agency charged with marketing and managing Hawaii as a world class tourist destination. On its website, HTA states that it “provides comprehensive management of tourism for the State of Hawaii.” Thus, HTA is a destination management organization and not strictly a destination marketing organization.
Photo by Tin Lung Chao.