REPORT FROM THE HTA – The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA), the state’s tourism agency, has selected forty (40) community-based projects through an open application process, which will receive funding in 2013 through its Natural Resources Program and Kūkulu Ola – Living Hawaiian Culture Program under its Product Enrichment Program (PEP).
“It is important for us to support programs that protect and perpetuate our people, place and culture,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of HTA. “As an island state, Hawai‘i’s natural resources and environment are a precious commodity that make the Hawaiian Islands such a remarkable destination and place to live. And it is our unique culture that differentiates us from the rest of the world. These Product Enrichment Programs allow the HTA to leverage tourism dollars to support community-led initiatives that also create sustainable and authentic experiences for residents and visitors to enjoy.”
HTA has partnered with the Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF) to administer the grant programs and help provide technical assistance to HTA grantees and applicants, including links to new funding sources and workshops to improve grant writing.
“HCF is proud to support the HTA’s Product Enrichment Programs, which give back to our community by improving and perpetuating our natural resources and Hawaiian culture,” said Kelvin Taketa, HCF president and CEO. “We look forward to sharing our experience and resources with HTA to develop and enhance these programs.”
The HTA’s Natural Resources Program was established in 2002 to respect, enhance and perpetuate Hawai‘i’s unique natural resources and environment. From 2003, the HTA has provided $1 million each year to support efforts that manage, improve and protect Hawai‘i’s natural environment and areas that are frequented by residents and visitors through the Community-Based Natural Resources Program.
The projects selected under the HTA’s Kūkulu Ola – Living Hawaiian Culture Program address the goals and objectives identified in the Hawai’i Tourism Strategic Plan: 2005-2015 (TSP) for the Hawaiian Culture initiative. The objectives include: strengthening the relationship between the visitor industry and the Hawaiian community; nurturing the Hawaiian culture by creating visitor experiences, activities and marketing programs that are respectful and accurate; and supporting Hawaiian programs and cultural practitioners, craftsmen, musicians and other artists that preserve and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture.
For more information on each of the programs that received funding through HTA’s Natural Resources Program and Kūkulu Ola – Living Hawaiian Culture Program, please visit www.hawaiitourismauthority.org