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Contact R&D’s Tourism Specialist

The Department of Research and Development’s Tourism Program provides active leadership to strengthen and enhance Hawai‘i Island’s visitor industry. It’s efforts are directed by the by the Hawai‘i Island Tourism Roadmap

The Tourism Program supports cooperative marketing programs, community festivals and sporting events, visitor arrival and departure experiences as well as new tourism products. 



 R&D is requesting proposals for the visitor promotions grant award in preparation for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. The intent of the grant program is to support marketing initiatives that grow Hawai‘i Island’s visitor arrivals and expenditures, and strengthen Hawai‘i Island’s brand to sustain the visitor industry in a way that protects the assets of the island, while providing economic benefit to the island’s businesses and residents. For more information and forms, go to our Funding and Grant Resources page.

Kīlauea Eruption Recovery Information

Hawai‘i is open for business and initiated a long-term recovery process after the unprecedented 100+ day Kīlauea eruption that occurred on the Island of Hawai‘i between April and August 2018. Learn more about the eruption and long term recovery process here.

  • Air Access: All flights into the Hawaiian Islands are operating normally.
  • Accommodations and Activities: All accommodations, activities and attractions throughout the Hawaiian Islands are operating normally.
  • Kīlauea Status: The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) continues to closely monitor Kīlauea Volcano and will issue updates and notifications of volcanic activity if warranted.
  • Air Quality: Air quality has stabililized since the eruption paused in August 2018. However, air quality in direct proximity to recent volcanic activity, localized to a very small portion of the Lower East Rift Zone can be hazardous due to SO2-sulfur dioxide emissions. Individuals with pre-existing conditions should adjust travel plans accordingly.
  • For current traveler information and links, please visit the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s Special Alert Page
  • For Kīlauea Status, review the HVO weekly update.


Google “Trekker” Virtual Tours on Hawai‘i Island - This program allows virtual tours to be placed on Google Maps. For more information, click here.


 The Hawaiian word “pono,” translated literally, means righteous. Island of Hawai‘i residents and visitors alike are asked to take the Pono Pledge, thereby committing to a more mindful approach to interacting with and preserving the spectacular natural beauty of the island.

I pledge to be pono (righteous) on the island of Hawai‘i. I will be mindfully seek wonder, but no wander where I do not belong. I will not defy death for breathtaking photos, or venture beyond safety. I will malama (care for) land and sea, and admire wildlife only from afar. Molten lava will mesmerize me, but I will not disrupt its flow. I will not take what is not mine, leaving lava rocks and sand as originally found. I will heed ocean conditions, never turning my back to the Pacific. When rain falls ma uka (inland), I will remain high above ground, out of rivers and streams. I will embrace the island’s aloha spirit, as it embraces me. Lawe i ka maalea i kuonoono. “Take wisdom and make it deep.”

Take the Pono Pledge

Hawai‘i Tourism Authority New President and CEO

Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s board of directors unanimously confirmed the appointment of longtime tourism executive Chris Tatum as its new president and CEO.  Please attached announcement for more details.

Hawai‘i Tourism Authority Funding Programs in 2020

Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) issued three Request for Proposals (RFP) offering to provide funding support to qualified programs that will help to perpetuate Hawaiian culture, preserve and enhance natural resources and enrich Hawai‘i’s offering through community-based tourism projects and events in 2020.

Applicants are encouraged to review and download the RFP’s from HTA’s website for three programs - Community Enrichment, Kukulu Ola, and Aloha Aina - each of which are designed to help improve Hawai‘i quality of life for residents, while also enhancing the visitor experience.

  •  Community Enrichment (RFP 20-01): HTA is supporting community-oriented projects, festival and events in the niche areas of agriculture, culture, culinary, education, health and wellness, nature, sports, technology and voluntourism for the enjoyment of residents and visitors.
  • Kukulu Ola (RFP 20-02): HTA is seeking programs and events that enhance, strengthen and help to perpetuate the Hawaiian culture by supporting community groups, cultural practitioners, craftsmen, musicians and artists.
  • Aloha Aina (RFP 20-03): HTA is supporting community-based programs with an emphasis on aina-kanaka (land-human) relationships that help manage, conserve, revitalize and enhance Hawai‘i natural resources and environment.

RFP Informational Briefings

HTA is hosting free public informational briefings on Hawai‘i Island at the following locations to help interested applicants with their understanding of the RFP application and award process to receive funding support. Interested applicants are encouraged to attend and have their questions answered.

  •  East Hawai‘i: Monday, May 13, 2019 at 9:30a.m. to 11:30a.m. at Grand Naniloa Hotel, Private Dining Room, 93 Banyan Drive, Hilo, HI 96720
  • West Hawai‘i: Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 9:30a.m. to 11:30a.m. at Hilton Waikoloa Village, Kings 2, 69-425 Waikoloa Beach Drive, Waikoloa, HI 96738

 The deadline for applicants to submit proposals to HTA seeksing funding support from any of the three program categories is Friday, July 5, 2019 at 4:30p.m. HST.

Program applications are available at HTA’s website at All inquiries should be directed to Ronald Rodriguez, HTA procurement officer and contract specialist, at

2019 Hawai‘i Tourism Authority Hawaiian Culture,Natural Resources and Community Program awardees.

2018 Hawai‘i Tourism Authority Community Program awardees.


Hawai‘i Tourism Authority Reports

New Tourism Dashboard by Island - Monthly visitor industry statistics 

The following visitor industry reports compiled by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) can be found at HTA’s Research & Reports Webpage:

National Park Visitor Statistics 

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