The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the state’s tourism agency, announced today the selection of 138 statewide programs and events through its Product Enrichment Programs (PEP) for 2014.
The PEP consists of three HTA programs: County Product Enrichment Program (CPEP), in partnership with the City and County of Honolulu, and the counties of Hawaii, Maui and Kauai; Kūkulu Ola: Living Hawaiian Culture Program (LHCP) and Natural Resources Community-Based Program (NRCBP) in partnership with the Hawaii Community Foundation. There were 91 CPEP programs, 22 LHCP programs and 25 NRCBP programs that were selected in 2014.
“Our Product Enrichment Programs provide us with the unique opportunity to support community events and programs that our residents are able to enjoy, while also drawing visitors to experience our host and multi-cultures and vast natural resources,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the HTA, in a written release. “Through our collective efforts with the four counties and the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, we are able to provide unique experiences that highlight our greatest assets – our people, place and culture.”
In line with the HTA’s Strategic Plan to support Hawaii’s community programs and events, the goal of PEP is to support community-based programs that enhance visitor experiences, as well as create opportunities for economic development, natural resources management, and perpetuation of the Hawaiian culture. The HTA, together with the four counties, their visitors’ bureaus, the HTA’s marketing partners and the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, is working with the recipients to align with the branding of their respective island, set forth by the HTA.
CPEP was created in 2002 as a partnership between the HTA and the counties to strengthen and diversify Hawaii’s tourism product and provide quality resident and visitor experiences. Through the program, the four counties receive HTA funding and other resources for tourism product enrichment activities to support projects in the niche areas of agritourism, cultural tourism, ecotourism, edutourism, health and wellness tourism, sports and technotourism in their respective counties.
The HTA’s Natural Resources Program was established in 2002 to respect, enhance and perpetuate Hawaii’s unique natural resources and environment. From 2003, the HTA has provided $1 million each year to support efforts that manage, improve and protect Hawaii’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 Hawaii 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.
Additionally, the HTA continues to support other product development, natural resources and Hawaiian culture initiatives for the enhancement of Hawaii’s distinct product offerings for both visitors and residents to enjoy.