Hawaii Tourism Authority Committed To Destination Management

HTA Contributing Over US$7.5 Million to Hawaii Tourism

These programs are: Kahu ‘Āina, Kūkulu Ola, Resort Area Hawaiian Culture Initiative, Signature Events, and Community Enrichment. In 2024, HTA is partnering to provide more than $7.5 million in total funding to support 163 nonprofit organizations, community groups, practitioners, projects, and events throughout the state. 

“The community is the foundation of our visitor industry and the fabric of the experiences that mindful travelers want to have when they come to our shores,” said Mufi Hannemann, HTA Board Chair. “To continue having a thriving, diversified industry that supports our other sectors we need to ensure that we strengthen what we all know makes Hawai‘i special — our people, our living cultures, and the places that we hold dear — as without them there is no future.”

“Reinvesting in Hawai‘i’s people, places and multi-cultural traditions remains central to HTA’s regenerative tourism mission,” said Daniel Nāho‘opi‘i, HTA’s interim president and CEO. “We look forward to working closely with such a diverse range of qualified organizations and practitioners on each island to deliver these programs to our community and our visitors.”

HTA has partnered with Kilohana to administer the following programs and contracts in 2024 as part of its focus on destination stewardship. Criteria included demonstrating how the proposed initiative aligns with the state’s Aloha+ Challenge and ‘Āina Aloha Economic Futures principles toward a circular economy, which HTA remains committed to advancing.

These programs complement HTA’s initiatives to strengthen workforce development in Hawai‘i’s visitor industry, assist nonprofits and small businesses with capacity-building tools to improve their ability to engage in tourism, and provide technical assistance training.


HTA’s Kahu ‘Āina (formerly known as Aloha ‘Āina) program supports responsible community-based entities with an emphasis on ‘āina-kānaka (land-human) relationships and knowledge that manage, preserve and regenerate Hawai‘i’s natural resources. Through the Kahu ‘Āina program, HTA is reinvesting more than $1.2 million ($1,236,000) in the following 25 community groups and projects in 2024.


HTA’s Kūkulu Ola program supports community-based awardees that enhance, strengthen and perpetuate Hawaiian culture through genuine experiences for residents and visitors. Through the Kūkulu Ola program, HTA is reinvesting $1.25 million in the following 34 nonprofit organizations, events and cultural practitioners in 2024.


HTA’s Resort Area Hawaiian Culture Initiative provides support to cultural practitioners and musicians presenting Hawaiian experiences, entertainment and music in resort areas. Through the Resort Area Hawaiian Culture Initiative, HTA is reinvesting $385,000 in the following four community groups, musicians and practitioners in 2024, with $335,000 going toward displaced musicians and practitioners who previously worked in resort areas that were impacted by the Maui wildfires and loss of tourism.


HTA’s Signature Events program supports major festivals and events that attract attendees and participants from outside the state and have extensive opportunities for national and international marketing. They include typically high-profile events that are larger in scale than those in the Community Enrichment program. These events also have a high media value (print, online and broadcast impressions). Through the Signature Events program, HTA is reinvesting $2.85 million in the following 21 festivals and events happening in Hawai‘i in 2024.


HTA’s Community Enrichment program supports unique, authentic and highly valued visitor-related experiences, and represents activities that are developed by the community, for the community, and are things the community is willing to and wants to share with visitors. Through the Community Enrichment program, HTA is reinvesting $1.84 million in the following 79 community-based events, festivals and experiences in 2024.

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