HONOLULU (KHON2) – Tourism in Hawaii’s past has used Hawaiian culture as a marketing tool to attract visitors to our islands, but in recent years the Hawaii Tourism Authority has worked closely with our local communities to emphasize a more meaningful and authentic culture. experience in an effort to malama kuu home, or care for our beloved home.
One organization that aligns with this mission is the Pai Foundation.
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Kamaka Pili introduces the director of the Pai Foundation, Vicky Holt Takamine.
One interesting thing about the Pai Foundation is that you (Takamine) have been working closely with local cultural practitioners and artists for over 20 years at this point. But I think it’s very interesting that you target both the community and our visitors. Why is this important?
Takamine replied, “Well, I think it’s important for tourists who come to visit Hawaii to learn a bit more about our Hawaiian culture. And learn it from the artists themselves who perform the hula, make your leis but authentic, face-to-face experiences.
Recently, you just established a new event in the heart of Waikiki. Why is it important to bring such a program, such a culture and such an experience not only to Waikiki, but also to its resort destination? Why is this important?
“Well, I’ve performed in Waikiki all my life and was part of this tourism industry. But I also felt it was important to bring our artists to Waikiki so tourists don’t have to chase us. We’re here. We can share, we can talk about history,” Takamine explained.
These are the stories they will remember when they return home and talk about them with their families. So Hawaii Tourism Authority, what do you think their role is in all of this and why is it important that they reinvest their tourism dollars back into our community?
Takamine said, “Well, their responsibility is to market and sell Hawaii as a tourism industry. It is the number one economic engine of our state. But it’s also important for them to support and grow the industry that supports this marketing and tourism. We must therefore inject money into cultural practices and ensure that artists prosper, are healthy and have jobs. There’s a balance the tourism industry has to strike – both hotels and airlines and the Hawaii Tourism Authority. They need to infuse and make sure they support the cultural practitioners they market.
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Malama kuu house is sponsored by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.