Hawaii tourism

Hawaiian Airlines says Travel Pono amid surge in Hawaii tourism

Amid calls from state officials for tourism to slow down in Hawaii, Hawaiian Airlines has released a new video informing those traveling to the islands about how they can respect the sacred land, culture and community when traveling their visit.

In the video, five crew members talk about the airline’s goal of traveling to Pono, which is to explore the Hawaiian Islands with care. Workers said visitors should express kōkua, or your help, to protect the sacred ecosystem, from aina (land) to kai (sea). The group also asks visitors to learn and understand Hawaiian culture while treating native people with respect.

The video, released on Monday, will be shown in the cabins of all Hawaii-bound planes starting next week, according to the airline.

Avi Mannis, senior vice president of marketing at Hawaiian Airlines, said in a statement that the airline wants to provide tourists with valuable information that enhances their experience while protecting Hawaii.

“Over the past month, we’ve heard our community and our employees clamoring for a video like this, and we’ve listened,” Mannis said.

The video comes as Hawaii has seen an incredible wave of tourists, so much so that Governor David Ige said in August, “Now is not a good time to travel to the islands,” as the state has dealt with rising COVID-19 cases.

The high number of tourists has led in tension between natives, who say the visitors were disrespectful and expressed their anger towards them.

There have also been cases of visitors who disrespect the island. Hawaii News Now reported that many historical monuments were inundated with tourists.

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“We all have a shared responsibility to mālama (take care of) our guests, and in return we ask them to take care of us and our home,” said John De Fries, President and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

In July, Hawaii began allowing travelers to bypass state quarantine protocols with proof of a COVID-19 vaccination. Still, people attempted to enter the islands by providing false proof of vaccination.

Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jordan_mendoza5.