HONOLULU (KHON2) — The word “Malama” means “to take care of”. The Hawaii Tourism Authority has just launched its Malama Hawaii initiative, encouraging visitors to the island to give back to their destination.
Many companies have already jumped on board to create incentives for their guests. More than 30 businesses have agreed to encourage visitors to give back to Hawaii.
Alaska Airlines has pledged to plant 900 trees by the end of the year, one for every flight arriving in the Hawaiian Islands.
“Why trees? It’s really about how we can support the native environment,” says Daniel Chun, director of sales, community and public relations – Hawaii for Alaska Airlines.
“When you plant a native endemic tree, it really helps reforest the land in Hawaii. And Hawaii’s native birds, insects, and wildlife also benefit from these forests.
Participating hotels offer special offers for guests if they choose to learn more about aina and contribute to the local community.
For example, a free night at the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort is one of the offers.
“So it’s all about hearing about lo’i and why it was important to native Hawaiians to the environment, to sunscreen and reef-safe micro-plastics. “, says Monica Salter, vice president of corporate communications for Outrigger Hospitality Group.
“Our goal is really for people to have a hands-on experience and just get into the lo’i, experience it, and take it home.”
Tourism has been forced to reset due to the pandemic. Malama Hawaii may be the start of a change in travel, for the better.
“We try to impress our guests and somehow even attract a different type of guest, a different mindset of our guest,” Chun explains.
“As travel resumes, if we can attract visitors who really have that Malama mindset, we will all win.”
Alaska Airlines also encourages travelers to give back by sponsoring a Legacy Tree with the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative.
For more information, click here.
For full details of participating Malama Hawaii partners, click here.