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HTA rolls out campaign to educate visitors

LIHUE — Sharing the dos and don’ts with visitors for their time in the Hawaiian Islands is the goal of a campaign launched through a partnership between the Hawaii Tourism Authority and the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.

The “Kuleana Campaign” (“kuleana” means “responsibility”) includes short videos aimed at curbing some of the challenges each county is facing. Videos were created for Kauai, Oahu, Maui County and Hawaii Island. Topics include ocean safety, ocean conservation, culture, land safety, astute renting and pono (righteous) tourism.

“Many travelers visiting the Hawaiian Islands don’t necessarily understand why we stay on the trail when we hike, why we care about protecting our reefs, and many of the dangers they need to be mindful of,” said Jay Talwar, HVCB’s chief marketing officer. “Rather than scold them, we felt that if our residents shared the ‘whys’ behind appropriate behavior then most visitors would follow along.”

Some of the messages include:

• Swim, surf and snorkel only when a lifeguard is on duty, and be aware of ocean conditions before entering the water;

• Be mindful of the impact plastics and sunscreens have on Hawaii’s coral reefs;

• Research legal vacation rentals thoroughly online before booking, to avoid scams;.

• Respect nature by taking only photos as mementos and leaving only the smallest of footprints behind.

The videos feature 15 Hawaii residents. They include, on Kauai, Sabra Kauka, cultural practitioner; Kawika Smith, land safety expert; and Kalani Vierra, ocean safety expert.

Several airlines including Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Hawaiian Airlines and Southwest Airlines are showing these videos to passengers before they arrive in the islands.

Some hotels across the state are also showing the “Kuleana” videos in their rooms. HTA and HVCB are working to expand the reach of these videos to more airlines and hotels. The videos have also been translated into Japanese, Chinese and Korean.

In addition, when visitors log in to their Facebook and Instagram accounts, they will see the “Kuleana” videos pop up on their feeds while they’re in Hawaii, thanks to geo-targeting technology.

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