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Reshaping tourism and creating an innovation economy

Posted on Nov 8, 2022 in Capitol Connection, Featured, Main

Residents and visitors need to protect the ‘āina.

The bottom line: In the wake of the pandemic, the Ige administration has moved to 1) reshape the visitor industry with a focus on “regenerative tourism” and 2) nurture emerging industries for promising careers, expand broadband networks, and create a more diversified economy driven by innovation and powered by technology.

During the governor’s first term, the administration advocated for expanding the U.S. customs pre-clearance and leveraged the state’s s exceptional bond ratings to build new airport facilities at Honolulu, Maui and Kona airports.

Gov. Ige at TRUE E-sports +Tech Lab event.

However, the pandemic during the governor’s second term made it obvious the state had to act faster to develop a more sustainable approach that protects both natural resources and Native Hawaiian traditions and culture. “It took COVID-19 to teach us to embrace change or perish. Our children can have a future here if we can make change happen,” said the governor. Now the push is for more economic diversification, digital equity, expanding broadband networks for people of all ages, and supporting emerging creative and tech industries through facilities such as the Entrepreneur’s Sandbox and the Academy for Creative Media at UH West O‘ahu as well as start-ups, small businesses and more programs to prepare students for the future.


Read more in the November/December Capitol Connection newsletter.

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