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Program Overview

The Department of Research and Development’s Tourism Program provides leadership and financial support to strengthen a community-based visitor industry that ensures authenticity, reciprocity, sustainability, and responsibility, invests in the people and places that host visitors, and appropriately grounds visitor activities in Hawai‘i Island's sense of place and culture of its first nation. Its efforts are directed by the by the Hawai‘i Island Tourism Roadmap.


Frecia Cevallos, Tourism Specialist, Telephone (808) 961-8505

Pono Pledge

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.”

Enjoy Hawai‘i Island


New: Growing Success III - 2019  Hawai‘i Capacity Building Workshop

The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, in partnership with the International Festivals and Events Association, is conducting all-day workshops on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawai‘i Island. These events are geared towards enhancing the success of your event/projects in the area of revenue generation, developing successful volunteer programs, succession planning, risk management and event safety.

  • Friday, October 18, 2019, Courtyard King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Deadline to register: Friday, October 4, 2019

To register, please visit Hawaii Tourism Authority Ticket Leap

HTA Rolls Out a Campaign to Educate Visitors

Kuleana Campaign is one part of a multi-pronged approach to share the beauty of the culture of Hawai‘i while educating visitors on how to travel respectfully while visiting.  For more information, see the attached news release.

Closed: Hawai‘i Island Visitor Promotions Grant for Fiscal Year 2019-2020

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 stabilized 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”

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

Hawai‘i Tourism Authority Funding Programs in 2020

Closed: Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) announced it's awarding funding to 95 events and programs in the Hawaiian Island through its Community Enrichment Program (CEP) for the 2020 calendar year.  To see list of awards, please see the attached News Release. 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.


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:

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