Hawaii Ecotourism Association Recertifies Six Big Island Tour Operators

The Hawaii Ecotourism Association has certified more than 45 Hawai‘i tour operators—including six on Hawai‘i Island—and also awarded the 2017 Sustainable Tour Operator of the Year to Trilogy Excursions on Maui on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017.

The HEA developed Hawai‘i’s only ecotourism certification program to help educate tour operators on the importance of using natural cultural resources, promote sustainable practices and raise awareness among visitors, residents and businesses in Hawai‘i.

“We’ve built sustainability into our tours; giving back to the community and preserving our environment have been an important part of our company and how we operate for over 45 years,” said LiAnne Driessen, director of marketing, sales and media relations at Trilogy Excursions.

In addition to awarding Trilogy Excursions on Maui as the 2017 Sustainable Tour Operator of the Year (see below), HEA also recognized newly certified and recertified operators.

Newly Certified Sustainable Tour Operators

Holokino Hawaii Tours (O‘ahu)

Recertified Sustainable Tour Operators

HAWAI‘I ISLAND
Fair Wind Cruises
Hawaii Forest & Trail
Kohala Zipline
KapohoKine Adventures
Hawaiian Legacy Tours
Atlantis Adventures

OTHER ISLANDS
Atlantis Adventures (Maui, O‘ahu)
Holokai Snorkel and Kayak Adventure (O‘ahu)
Maui Kayak Adventures (Maui)
Hawaiian Paddle Sports (Maui)
Pacific Whale Foundation (Maui)
Kualoa Ranch (O‘ahu)
Pacific Islands Institute (O‘ahu)
Kailua Beach Adventures (O‘ahu)

Pending Final Evaluation – Certified Sustainable Tour Operators
Hoku Hawaii Tours (O‘ahu)
Coral Crater Adventure Park (O‘ahu)

Trilogy Excursions, which runs sailing, snorkel and whale watching tours on Maui, received the award for its ongoing efforts in supporting the principles of sustainable tourism and promoting practices and programs that enhance the local community and environment.

Some of these practices include:

  • Becoming the first company to retrofit its vessels to pump out waste at onshore facilities [instead of in the open ocean]
  • Launching the successful Blue ‘Aina Reef Cleanup Campaign. Since its inception in 2010, the Blue ‘Aina program has conducted 123 reef cleanups along Maui’s coastline, educated the public, and supported numerous ocean-based nonprofits
  • Converting Trilogy V to run completely on biodiesel
  • Undertaking extensive staff trainings and ongoing staff development to ensure high-quality and accurate tours
  • Supporting environmental initiatives that include the elimination of single-use plastics on all vessels, outfitting all vessels with reef friendly sunscreen, and supporting the establishment and ongoing maintenance of a day-use mooring system on Maui.

“We congratulate and applaud Trilogy Excursions on their commitment to providing sustainable tours to better serve our tourism industry,” said Aaron J. Lowe, president of HEA.

 

To be considered for the Sustainable Tour Operator certification, companies are assessed based on the following requirements:

Step 1: Self-Evaluation: Applications must complete and submit a self-assessment checklist, which evaluates their operating principles. Submissions include an administration fee of $200 and supporting document for review.
Step 2: Third Party Evaluation: An HEA evaluator contacts the applicant to review the checklist and schedule an in-person evaluation. The evaluator participates in a tour to verify components of the self-assessment checklist, and rates the applicant on various operating principles.
Step 3: Reporting & Certification: The HEA evaluator submit their findings and all supporting documents to HEA for final approval. If certified, HEA award certification status, and tour operators are recognized at the HEA Annual Luncheon.

About Hawaii Ecotourism Association
Since 1994, HEA has been committed to helping better Hawaii’s travel industry through promoting responsible ecotourism travel and educational tours to conserving the natural and cultural resources in Hawaii. HEA is composed of tour and lodging operators, travel writers, and community organizations. For more information, visit www.hawaiiecotourism.org.

Privateer’s Cove: Adventures in Dining

no slideshow

Vick Traxler, owner of Privateer’s Cove in Kailua-Kona. Karen Rose photo.

For diners looking for an experience as unique as their food, Privateer’s Cove in Kailua-Kona offers just that and more. Tucked away in the old industrial complex, Privateer’s Cove serves interesting dishes and features exotic meats from around the world.

Even more interesting than the menu, is the founder of Privateer’s Cove, Nick Traxler.

“I wanted a place unlike any other—a living room for my friends,” said Traxler.

The restaurant is indeed unlike any other and Traxler invites guests to dine in his establishment with the understanding they abide by his well-documented rules…

Displayed in extra large print, the rules of Privateer’s Cove are clearly defined for diners so there are no misunderstandings.

[slideshow]

The first posted rule is No Pretension. In other words, customers must be nice and act like adults.

The second rule is no talking on cell phones—no exceptions or excuses accepted.

The third rule is all red meat is cooked medium rare or rare. If a guest prefers their steak cooked more well done, the staff will happily recommend other establishments that will, according to Traxler, “overcook your meat and charge you more.”

The last rule is guests may not speak against men and women in uniform.

Traxler makes his rounds from table to table chatting with customers and sharing stories of his days performing at Renaissance fairs and being a police officer in Arizona. He’s proud to run his business as he sees fit and feels those who don’t care for his style can eat somewhere else. Outspoken and uniquely brazen, he has as much character as his menu.

Speaking of the menu, kangaroo potstickers are a favorite appetizer. Kangaroo meat is shipped in every Wednesday from Sydney, Australia. Traxler donates a portion of the sales from the pot stickers to help benefit the Kealakehe High School Wrestling Team. If kangaroo isn’t your thing, the Truffle Mac & Cheese is a delicious and rich comfort food appetizer.

The American Legion Special is an Alligator and Chicken Étouffée. Part of the proceeds for this entree help support the American Legion Post #20 in Kailua-Kona.

If beef is more your thing, the Port of Helena Filet Mignon is served rare to medium rare with a mushroom red wine and poached egg over mashed potatoes.

For seafood lovers, try the Port of Charleston Shrimps and Hominy, an eclectic take on the classic creamy cornmeal topped with shrimp on homemade garlic sauce.

On Wednesdays, the lunch special is camel burger, which is nicely seasoned and served on a fresh bun.

Privateer’s Cove is a bring-your-own-adult-beverage establishment, so guests are offered the opportunity to pair their exotic meats with their beverage of choice.

If there’s any room left after all the exotic critters, indulge in the creme brûlée or mud pie.

Overall, Traxler’s goal is to make new friends. As it states on his menu, “With almost 7.4 billon people in this world, we should all endeavor to make new friends.”

Privateer’s Cove is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m.; closed Sundays.

Call (808) 882-1200.

The restaurant is located at 74-5565 Luhia St in Kailua-Kona.

For more information or to view the menu, visit privateerscove.wixsite.com.

 

Alligator and Chicken Etouffee at Privateer’s Cove in Kailua-Kona. Karen Rose photo.

Filet Mignon at Privateer’s Cove in Kailua-Kona. Karen Rose photo.

A very hungry customer at Privateer’s Cove in Kailua-Kona. Karen Rose photo.

Kangaroo Wontons at Privateer’s Cove in Kailua-Kona. Karen Rose photo.

Rack of Lamb at Privateer’s Cove in Kailua-Kona. Karen Rose photo.

Shrimp and Hominy at Privateer’s Cove in Kailua-Kona. Karen Rose photo.

Kona Job Fair Set for Displaced Island Air Employees

Island Air photo.

In addition to the upcoming Nov. 18 Honolulu Open House for former Island Air employees announced last week, Hawaiian Airlines has confirmed additional job fairs in Kona, Kahului and Līhu‘e.

These sessions are reserved for displaced Island Air workers.

Kona (KOA) interviews for Customer Service Agents and Ramp Agents
Friday, Nov. 17, 2017
8:20 a.m.–12:40 p.m. (20-minute interviews)
KOA HA Offices – Check-in at HA ticket counter
Bring two copies of your resume
Must register online at https://calendly.com/hacareers/kona

Līhu‘e (LIH) interviews for Customer Service Agents and Ramp Agents
Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017
8:20 a.m.–noon (20-minute interviews)
LIH State of Hawaii Mezzanine Conference Room
Bring two copies of your resume
Must register online at https://calendly.com/hacareers/lihue

Kahului (OGG) interviews for Customer Service Agents and Ramp Agents
Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017
8:20 a.m.–2:40 p.m. (20-minute interviews)
OGG WP Offices – check in at the WP ticket counter
Bring two copies of your resume
Must register online at https://calendly.com/hacareers/kahului