Nonprofit Hawaii Ecotourism Association rebrands

  • photo submitted by the Department of Land and Natural Resources

    Visitors who wish to check out viewpoints in the Waimea Canyon and Kokee State Park will have to pay for parking starting Friday.

HONOLULU — The nonprofit organization Hawaii Ecotourism Association has officially rebranded as the Sustainable Tourism Association of Hawaii. The rebranding was motivated, in part, to better align with the organization’s mission and goals.

“Compared to ecotourism, sustainable tourism is more holistic,” said Lauren Blickley, Program Manager with the Sustainable Tourism Association of Hawaii . “Whereas ecotourism is limited to nature-based tours or natural resources conservation, sustainable tourism considers communities and cultural conservation, environmental conservation, and economic development.”

The mission of the Sustainable Tourism Association of Hawaii is to protect Hawaii’s unique, natural environment and host culture through the promotion of responsible travel and educational programs for residents, businesses, and visitors.

“We are excited about the growing number of opportunities to support and guide sustainable tourism throughout Hawaii,” said Ray Hutaff, President of the Sustainable Tourism Association of Hawaii. “We believe rebranding allows us to better align with our mission of promoting sustainable tourism.”

Founded in 1995, the organization boasts over two decades of supporting sustainable tourism initiatives throughout the state. One of its most notable programs is the Certified Sustainable Tour Operator Program, the only third-party sustainable tour operator certification not only in Hawaii, but throughout the United States.

The statewide Certification program is designed to educate and recognize Hawaii’s tour operators who positively affect natural and cultural resources, contribute to conservation, and help sustain local communities. The program currently maintains 40 certified tour operators spread across Oahu, Maui, Hawaii Island, and Kauai.

For more information about the Sustainable Tourism Association of Hawaii, visit www.sustainabletourismhawaii.org. If your company is interested in Certification, please contact communications@hawaiiecotourism.org.

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