No More Funding for Hawaii Tourism Authority

by: Linda Hohnholz, eTN editor |

The Hawaii Tourism Authority was set up 25 years ago in 1998 to advance the marketing of the Hawaiian Islands and was funded by the Hawaii State Government. However, the agency’s very existence today hangs in the wait as there is absolutely no funding for HTA in the current State Government bill (HB300).

In a conference committee meeting held late last night between the House of Representatives and State Senate, the decision to entirely cut the Hawaii Tourism Authority from the budget was agreed upon and decided.

There are also 2 bills that would dismantle the Hawaii Tourism Authority and restructure some of its work into the State Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism. HTA believes these 2 bills – HB1375 and SB1522 will only create challenges in supporting community programs and effective destination management of Hawaii’s tourism.

Previously, Associate Professor at the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, Colin Moore, shared his comments with HTA, stating:

“The Legislature clearly wanted to make a big change this year.”

“Both of these bills seemed like the kind that are introduced to kind of force a conversation, but now they are at the end, and I think neither one of them has been vetted the way it ought to have been, and there’s a whole lot of confusion.”

The budget does include work in the amount of US$64 million to fix the leaking roof of the Hawaii Convention Center which was built in 1997 and also opened the same year as HTA in 1998.

The ongoing legislative session ends on Thursday, May 4, when the Final Reading of bills and adoption of resolutions will take place. The next step will be for the Legislature to certify the bills and transmit them to the Governor.

Once the governor receives these bills, he has the option to sign them, meaning he has accepted the bill and it becomes law, or he may choose to veto the bill. He can also do nothing, in which case the bill still becomes law, just without his signature. If he vetoes a bill, and there is no response from the House of Representatives and Senate, the bill will die.

It remains to be seen what the fate of the Hawaii Tourism Authority will be within the next 7 days.

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No More Funding for Hawaii Tourism Authority


Source: eTurboNews

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