Honolulu, 10 Oct 2017 – In keeping with its commitment to foster sustainable tourism in the Hawaiian Islands, the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) is providing funding of more than $3.5 million to 124 programs that are perpetuating Hawaiian culture, protecting natural resources and showcasing community events in 2018. Recipients of the funding are nonprofit groups, community organizations and individuals statewide who have demonstrated through proposals submitted to HTA their dedication to strengthen the enduring qualities of Hawai‘i’s legacy that distinguish the islands as a place to live and visit.

“Sustainable tourism starts at the community level and that’s the focus of our support for initiatives by groups and individuals who have pledged to make Hawai‘i a better place for future generations,” said George D. Szigeti, HTA president and CEO. “Collectively, these community-based programs will help manage tourism’s impacts by preserving the quality of life we treasure as residents through culture, the environment and the sharing of festivals and events ingrained in the traditions of Hawai‘i’s people.” Funding is being provided to recipients on all islands for usage in 2018 as part of three HTA program categories: Kūkulu Ola, Aloha ‘Āina and Community Enrichment. HTA issued a request for proposals on June 21 with submittals from qualified applicants received by August 4.

• A total of $1,240,000 is being awarded to 33 recipients that are perpetuating Hawaiian culture through HTA’s Kūkulu Ola program. Awardees include community groups, practitioners, craftsmen, musicians and artists committed to strengthening a broader understanding and appreciation of Hawaiian culture through place-based activity engagement. Founded on the value of ma ka hana ka ‘ike (in working one learns), the Kūkulu Ola program assists recipients steeped in ‘ike Hawai‘i to share within communities the Hawaiian values inherent in each respective practice.

• A total of $1,150,000 is being awarded to 26 recipients that are helping to protect Hawai‘i’s natural resources through HTA’s Aloha ‘Āina program. Focused on the lasting value of stewardship by responsible community-based entities that emphasize ‘āina-kānaka relationships and knowledge, the Aloha ‘Āina program supports efforts to manage, conserve and revitalize Hawai‘i’s natural resources and environment.

• A total of $1,153,300 is being awarded to 65 recipients through HTA’s Community Enrichment program, which supports quality experiences created by communities to be shared with residents and visitors for their enjoyment. The Community Enrichment program invests in a diverse array of festivals, events and year-round programs in support of culture, education, health and wellness, nature, agriculture, sports, technology and voluntourism. Click here for the listing of awardees receiving funding from HTA.

About the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority

The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority is responsible for strategically managing the State of Hawai‘i’s marketing initiatives to support tourism. HTA’s goal is to optimize tourism’s benefits for Hawai‘i, while being attentive to the interests of travelers, the community and visitor industry. Established in 1998 to support Hawai‘i’s leading industry and largest employer, HTA continually strives to help ensure the sustainability of tourism’s success.

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