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HTA NEWS RELEASE: Aha Punana Leo, Hawaiian Airlines and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa Being Honored with Tourism Legacy Awards at Hawaii’s Global Tourism Summit

Posted on Sep 18, 2018 in Latest Department News

HONOLULU – Three organizations, Aha Punana Leo, Hawaiian Airlines and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, are being presented with the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s (HTA) highest honor – a Tourism Legacy Award – for their efforts to revitalize and normalize Hawaiian language usage in everyday life.

Presented annually, the Tourism Legacy Awards honors organizations and individuals that have established a legacy of aloha through their perpetuation of the Hawaiian culture. This year’s awards will be presented at the final event of Hawaii’s Global Tourism Summit, the Tourism Legacy Awards Lunch, on Wednesday, October 3.

Aha Punana Leo is being honored for its dedication to the teaching and advocacy of olelo Hawaii (Hawaiian language) in Hawaiian medium education schools. Hawaiian Airlines and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa are being recognized for the commitment of their respective business practices and employees to the implementation of olelo Hawaii within their operations.

The presenting sponsor of the Tourism Legacy Awards Luncheon is Bank of Hawaii, the world’s only financial institution with Hawaiian as a language option when using its automatic teller machines.

Kalani Kaanaana, HTA director of Hawaiian cultural affairs, said, “Olelo Hawaii is unique to our islands, people and culture, as it encapsulates a Hawaiian world view, value system, concepts, and as the vessel through which cultural perspective and thought live on.

“Committing to the normal, everyday usage of olelo Hawaii is about helping to save an integral part of our culture, which makes these islands and how we live so distinctive from anywhere else in the world. We congratulate Aha Punana Leo, Hawaiian Airlines and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa for the sense of kuleana and leadership they have demonstrated in helping to ensure that olelo Hawaii and the Hawaiian culture are being represented authentically, respectfully and with care.”

This year is especially significant to celebrating the usage and implementation of olelo Hawaii, as Governor David Ige declared 2018 to be Ke Au Hawaii, the Year of the Hawaiian. Three noteworthy anniversaries are being recognized this year in paying tribute to the culture, language, traditions and history of the Hawaiian people.

It was 25 years ago, in 1993, when the U.S. Congress and President Bill Clinton presented a formal apology to the Hawaiian people for America’s role in the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom on
January 17, 1893.

This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the 1978 Hawaii State Constitutional Convention that led to Hawaiian being reaffirmed to its rightful standing as an official language of the State of Hawaii, establishing Hawaiian education programs in public schools, and introducing Hawaiian language immersion programs, all of which has brought the Hawaiian language back from the brink of extinction.

In addition, it was 100 years ago when Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole founded the first Hawaiian Civic Club.

Register for and Have a Voice at the Global Tourism Summit, October 1-3
Presented by HTA, the Global Tourism Summit takes place October 1-3 at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu. This year’s theme – Charting the Course – speaks to the ever-present need for destinations and travel suppliers to continuously balance the power of tourism’s popularity worldwide with its impact on residents and communities.

The need to strive for sustainable tourism, the significance of Hawaiian culture, Hawaii’s global marketing programs in 2019, and new travel innovations will be showcased in thought-provoking sessions, presentations and panel discussions. Anyone with an interest in tourism’s future – both in Hawaii and around the world – is encouraged to register and share their voice during the summit.

Participants can register online for the Global Tourism Summit via the dedicated website,, and choose from one of several options below that features savings for groups, students and faculty. Attendance to the Tourism Legacy Awards Lunch on October 3 is included as part of the full summit registration or for registering on that day. Individuals wanting to attend only the Tourism Legacy Awards Lunch can do so for a cost of $50 per person.

Individuals: Full Summit Registration, October 1-3: $425

Group Package (Minimum of 8 people): Full Summit Registration, October 1-3: $2,600 total, a savings of $100 per person. Groups can mix and match different attendees during the conference.

Students and Faculty Members: Full Summit Registration, October 1-3: $150

Students: 1-Day Summit Registration, Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday: $50 (Registering for Wednesday, October 3, includes attendance to the Tourism Legacy Awards Lunch)

Individuals: 2-Day Summit Registration, October 1-2: $315 (Does not include the Tourism Legacy Awards Lunch)

Individuals: 2-Day Summit Registration, October 2-3: $295 (Includes attendance to the Tourism Legacy Awards Lunch)


About the Hawaii Tourism Authority
The Hawaii Tourism Authority is responsible for strategically managing the State of Hawaii’s marketing initiatives to support tourism. HTA’s goal is to optimize tourism’s benefits for Hawaii, while being attentive to the interests of travelers, the community and visitor industry. Established in 1998 to support Hawaii’s leading industry and largest employer, HTA continually strives to help ensure the sustainability of tourism’s success.

For more information about HTA, please visit Follow updates about HTA on Facebook, Twitter (@HawaiiHTA) and its YouTube Channel.

Media Contacts:

Charlene Chan
Director of Communications
Hawaii Tourism Authority
808-973-2272 (o)
808-781-7733 (m)
[email protected]

Patrick Dugan
Anthology Marketing Group
(808) 539-3411 (o)
(808) 741-2712 (m)
[email protected]