The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the state agency responsible for managing tourism, awarded its multimillion-dollar marketing contract for the US market to the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA).
The move means the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau lost the contract after more than two decades of partnership.
The HTA said the contract covers a range of brand management and visitor education services and includes support services for Hawaii’s official travel website, app, social media channels and website. creative content.
The CNHA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is “to enhance the cultural, economic, political, and community development of Native Hawaiians,” according to its website.
In a statement, the CNHA said it was “humbled” that the HTA “has given us the task of bringing about the change Hawaii has long demanded in our tourism industry.”
HTA’s multi-year agreement with CNHA begins June 30 and ends December 31, 2024, with HTA having the option to extend the agreement for an additional two years.
HVCB CEO John Monahan told members in an email: “We are extremely disappointed with the outcome and we are considering the appropriate course of action. This in no way reflects the work we have done together to follow through. a new path – Malama House Ku’u.”
Monahan also said HTA has confirmed that HVCB’s existing contracts with Global MCI (Meet Hawaii), Destination Management Action Plans and Island Chapters will remain in effect.
The HTA released a request for proposals (RFP) for the US market on April 15 and said finalists had been determined and the winner chosen by a judging committee made up of HTAs, community leaders and the industry.