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Hawaiian Airlines HanaHou! Magazine Lands National Photography Award

A dramatic image of the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hōkūle‘a sailing around the South African coast has earned Hawaiian Airlines’ in-flight magazine HanaHou! a prestigious gold prize from The American Advertising Awards (ADDY).

Voyaging canoe en route between Hout Bay and Cape Town (sailing from Simon’s Town)  Twelve Apostles (peaks in distance) 11/12/15
HOKULE’A Worldwide Voyage/Malama Honua Cape Town, South Africa November 2015

Monte Costa is the Hawai‘i-based photographer behind the stunning image of the Hōkūle‘a navigating choppy waters off Hout Bay as mountain ridges known as the Twelve Apostles soar above misty clouds in the background. The photo was taken shortly before the canoe sailed into Cape Town, about halfway into its three-year Mālama Honua (Care for the Earth) Worldwide Voyage Sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines.

After gracing the cover of HanaHou!’s June-July 2016 issue, the image took a local Pele Award before grabbing the attention of ADDY’s judges, who selected it as the winner in the contest’s color photography category. The top honor recognizes the highest level of creative excellence in the advertising industry’s largest and most representative competition attracting over 40,000 entries each year.

Costa captured the moment from a zodiac chartered by a photographer friend and shared with two whale researchers.

“We knew when the Hōkūle‘a was going to be sailing by, it was way outside in the open ocean. It was very brisk and windy, beautiful. The sun was shining but it was biting cold,” recalled Costa, who sat patiently waiting for the right frame as the inflatable raft bobbed where the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. “The image communicates movement – that Hōkūle‘a is moving toward something special. That photo draws you in, it sucks you in as if you are moving with the Hōkūle‘a.”

“This image of Hokule’a approaching the Twelve Apostles near Cape Town, South Africa, seems to come from another world,” remarked HanaHou! publisher Chris Pearce. “You sense the forbidding power of the ocean and the ancient cliffs, and also the intrepid spirit of the voyagers. Among hundreds of photos submitted to the competition, this is the one that the judges couldn’t forget and it’s not hard to see why.”

The ADDY award also acknowledged the work of HanaHou! Photo Editor Matt Mallams and Design Director Kunio Hayashi.

The Hōkūle‘a returned home to Hawai‘i on June 17 after a 40,000-nautical mile journey that included stops at 150 ports and 18 nations. As the title sponsor of The Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, Hawaiian Airlines provided more than 54 million air miles for crew travel, as well as cargo support.

HTA Offers Funding to Programs Supporting Hawaiian Culture, Hawaii’s Natural Resources and Community-Based Events in 2018

The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) announced today that funding support will be provided to qualified applicants for programs in 2018 that perpetuate Hawaiian culture, preserve Hawaii’s natural resources and present community-based festivals and events.


Funding will be awarded through a request for proposals (RFPs) process for three HTA programs, Kukulu Ola, Aloha Aina and Community Enrichment, which are offered to help improve the quality of life for residents and enhance the visitor experience for tourists.

“How we celebrate the Hawaiian culture, protect our environment, and share our way of life in communities is key to Hawaii’s future and why we place such importance in supporting groups and individuals committed to these ideals,” said George D. Szigeti, HTA president and CEO. “These programs help guide how our communities embrace sustainability and uphold the qualities that make the Hawaiian Islands such a magnificent place to live and visit.”

The three programs that HTA has issued RFPs for and will provide funding support to qualified applicants statewide in 2018 are as follows.

  • Kukulu Ola (RFP 17-13): HTA is supporting programs that enhance, strengthen and help to perpetuate the Hawaiian culture by cultural practitioners, craftsmen, musicians and artists.
  • Aloha Aina (RFP 17-14): HTA is supporting programs that help preserve and enhance the quality of Hawaii’s treasured natural resources for the enjoyment of current and future generations.
  • Community Enrichment (RFP 17-12): HTA is supporting community-oriented programs, festivals and special events promoting culture, education, health and wellness, nature, agriculture, sports, technology and “voluntourism” for the enjoyment of residents and visitors.

The deadline for applicants to submit proposals to HTA seeking funding support for their programs in any of the three categories is Friday, August 4, at 4:30 p.m.

Program applications are available at HTA’s website at www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/about-hta/rfps.

All inquiries should be directed to Ronald Rodriguez, HTA procurement officer, via email at contracting@gohta.net or by phone at (808) 973-9449.

RFP Information Sessions HTA is hosting public information sessions on all islands about the application and award process for the RFPs at the following locations. Interested applicants are encouraged to attend and ask questions about receiving funding support.

  • Oahu – Wednesday, July 5, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. , Hawaii Convention Center, Emalani Theatre, 1801 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu
  • Kauai – Thursday, July 6, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m., Lihue Civic Center, Piikoi Building, Meeting Rooms A & B, 4444 Rice Street, Lihue Friday, July 7, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Kona – West Hawaii Civic Center, Building A, Council Chambers, 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Kailua-KonaFriday, July 7, 2:30 – 5:30 p.m.
  • Hilo – County of Hawaii Aging and Disability Resource Center, Training Room, 1055 Kinoole Street, Suite #101, HiloTuesday, July 11, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Building D
  • Molokai – Tuesday, July 11, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m., Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Building D600,  Maunaloa Highway, Kaunakakai
  • Maui – Monday, July 17, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Maui Arts and Cultural Center, Alexa Higashi Room, 1 Cameron Way, Kahului
  • Lanai – Monday, July 17, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m., Lanai Cultural and Heritage Center, 730 Lanai Avenue, #126, Lanai City

Early Bird Registration for the 2017 Global Tourism Summit Now Available

Early-bird registration offering flexible discounted rates is now available for the 2017 Global Tourism Summit, being presented by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), Sept. 19-21.   Participants can register via the dedicated website, www.globaltourismsummithawaii.com, and choose from one of several options to attend the conference being held at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu.


Sustainability is the theme of this year’s summit and how it is incorporated in the future of tourism will be a featured topic of the presentations. The significance of Hawaiian culture, global marketing, technology and innovation will also be highlighted in presentations and panel discussions, with the collective focus on improving tourism in Hawaii and abroad.

George D. Szigeti, HTA president and CEO, said, “The core objective of the Global Tourism Summit is the collaboration and sharing of knowledge to make tourism stronger and better for the Hawaiian Islands and the industry as a whole. Tourism has stakeholders in all walks of life and all around the world and we are encouraging anyone interested in seeing this global industry succeed to participate in the summit, share their insight, and be part of this greater effort for everyone’s future benefit.”

Early-bird registration is available through July 31 for the following discounted rates:

  • Individuals: Full Conference, Sept. 19-21: $325, a savings of $70
  • Groups of 8 or More: Full Conference, Sept. 19-21: $300 per person, a savings of $65 per person (Groups can mix and match different attendees during the conference)
  • Student and Faculty Members: Full Conference, Sept. 19-21: $150
  • Individuals, Partial Conference, Sept. 19-20: $275
  • Individuals, Partial Conference, Sept. 20-21: $265

“We want to be flexible and provide interested attendees, especially those from Hawaii, with options that allow them to participate in the Global Tourism Summit in a way that best meshes with their daily work responsibilities,” said Szigeti.

Information on sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities is also available online at the dedicated website. A complete listing of sessions, programs and speakers will be added in the coming weeks.

Formerly known as the Hawaii Tourism Conference, HTA changed the name to the Global Tourism Summit to more accurately reflect Hawaii’s emergence as a leader in international travel and tourism.

United Airlines Increasing Routes to Hawaii – Adding Lie-Flat Seating From 5 Hubs

United Airlines (UAL) today announced an increase of service on 11 routes connecting the continental U.S. and Hawaii, offering customers more flights between the mainland and the Hawaiian Islands than any other carrier.

Beginning December 20, United will increase service from its hubs in Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco to Hawaii. The airline will continue operating its daily nonstop service to Honolulu from all seven domestic hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., plus Guam and Tokyo.

“As we celebrate our 70th anniversary in Hawaii this year, today’s announcement carries a very special significance for our customers,” said Jake Cefolia, United’s vice president of Sales. “Our customers have asked for more ways to get to Hawaii, and by adding these flights we are thrilled to make Hawaii more accessible than ever for our customers travelling from the Midwest, Rocky Mountain and West Coast regions.”

Lie-flat seating from 5 United hubs

Beginning this summer, premium cabin customers on all overnight flights between Hawaii and Chicago, Denver, Houston, New York/Newark and Washington, D.C., will enjoy 180-degree flat-bed seats for a more relaxing and sleep-enhancing flight with custom-designed duvets and pillows provided by leading luxury specialty store and New York-bred retailer Saks Fifth Avenue.

Celebrating 70 years of service in Hawaii

The Hawaiian Islands are an important part of United’s history. With the maiden departure of a United DC-6 Mainliner from San Francisco to Honolulu in May 1947, United played a major role in helping to make Hawaii an easily accessible destination for tourism and business. In fact, United’s West Coast hubs in Los Angeles and San Francisco will remain the country’s largest gateways for connecting customers to Hawaii, and in December, United’s Denver hub will be another primary interior gateway to Hawaii, offering customers the ability to get to Hawaii from more than 90 destinations in the U.S. and Canada.

“United Airlines has been a leader in air travel between the mainland and Hawaii for 70 years and the airline continues to deliver positive benefits in our communities,” said Ford Fuchigami, Director of Hawaii’s Department of Transportation. “We look forward to welcoming more flights and visitors to Hawaii and another 70 years of partnership.”

“This combination of increased and enhanced service by United Airlines is fantastic news for Hawaii’s tourism industry, especially with the number of direct flights being added to Maui, Kauai and island of Hawaii,” said George D. Szigeti, President and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. “United’s customers anywhere in the nation will have easy access to all of Hawaii’s major islands and be able to experience our aloha spirit and diversity of culture and natural beauty statewide.”

Denver International Airport (DEN)

Beginning December 20, service between Denver and Kona (KOA), Lihue (LIH) and Maui (OGG) will increase from seasonal to daily year-round service. The airline will continue its year-round daily service from Denver to Honolulu.

Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

Offering the only nonstop service between Chicago and Hawaii, United will increase service to Maui (OGG) to five times per week beginning December 20.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

From Los Angeles, United offers nonstop service to more Hawaiian Island destinations than any other airline. In addition to United’s five times daily service to Honolulu, United will increase service between LAX and Hilo, Kona, Maui and Lihue beginning December 20. United is the only U.S. airline with nonstop service from LAX to Hilo, on the Island of Hawaii.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

From San Francisco, United offers more nonstop service to more Hawaiian Island destinations than any other airline. In addition to its five times daily service between SFO and Honolulu, United will increase service to Kona, Lihue and Maui beginning December 20.

Hawaii State Land Board Imposes $15,000 Fine for Lava Tour Boat Violations

The Board of Land and Natural Resources today assessed a fine of $15,000 for three violations by lava tour boat operator Shane Turpin (dba Kohala Tours) for conducting commercial activity from a state boating facility without a required commercial use ramp permit, in violation of boating administrative rule, HAR 13-231-51.

The violations took place between February 3-7, 2017 from the Pohoiki boat launch ramp in south Hawaii island. These involved repeated launches of the vessel LavaKai II from the ramp without having a valid commercial use ramp permit.

Turpin’s other company Lava Ocean Tours, Inc. does hold one of the four available commercial use ramp permits issued by the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) for use of the state ramp for operation of its vessel, LavaOne. On the same dates the LavaOne was also carrying passengers for lava viewing tours. However, permit holders may not use the boat ramp to launch other vessels not covered by the permit.

The board declined to assess additional fines ranging from $5,000 to $35,000 against two vessel captains for multiple counts of violating the same boating rule. Any future violations may result in citations, fines or possible revocation of the commercial use launch ramp permit.

Island Air Flight Attendants, Molokai Police Officer Recognized by Hawaii Governor and Mayors for Lifesaving Actions

Two Island Air flight attendants and an off-duty Moloka‘i police officer were recognized today by Gov. David Ige for recently coming to the aid of a woman in need of medical attention.

Gov. David Ige recognized two Island Air flight attendants and a Moloka‘i police officer for their life saving actions (left to right): Moloka‘i Police Officer Kyle “Ikaika” Bishaw-Juario; Island Air flight attendant Shanay Coloma; Island Air flight attendant Wendy Nakamura-Chan; Gov. David Ige

On March 6, 2017, Island Air flight attendants Wendy Nakamura-Chan and Shanay Coloma witnessed a medical emergency at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport Commuter Terminal in Honolulu. The two flight attendants, who were on reserve assignment at the time, immediately responded when a 50-year-old female passenger became unconscious and unresponsive. With the assistance of Kyle “Ikaika” Bishaw-Juario, an off-duty police officer from Moloka‘i who was waiting to board a flight, Nakamura-Chan and Coloma used an automated external defibrillator (AED) located in the terminal to revive the passenger. The woman regained consciousness and was taken to a nearby hospital for further examination. She was released from the hospital and was able to continue her family vacation on Maui the following day.

“Island Air flight attendants Wendy Nakamura-Chan and Shanay Coloma and Officer Bishaw-Juario came to the aid of a stranger in need, and that speaks volumes about their character,” said Gov. Ige, who presented the three individuals with letters of commendation in the Executive Chambers of the Hawai‘i State Capitol. “Without hesitation, they used their CPR and AED training, and their quick response likely saved a woman’s life. Their actions serve to remind us of the importance of learning CPR and knowing how to properly use automated external defibrillators.”

Earlier this week, Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa presented the flight attendants and police officer with commendations in his office, while also declaring June 1-7, 2017 as “CPR/AED Awareness Week” in Maui County. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell issued Award of Recognition certificates to them.

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa recognized two Island Air flight attendants and a Moloka‘i police officer for their life saving actions (left to right): Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa; Island Air flight attendant Wendy Nakamura-Chan; Moloka‘i Police Officer Kyle “Ikaika” Bishaw-Juario; Island Air flight attendant Shanay Coloma; Maui County Police Chief Tivoli Faaumu; Island Air Vice President of Administration, Safety and Security Dee Airman.

“Wendy and Shanay, with the assistance of Officer Bishaw-Juario, instinctively responded to a critical situation and assisted a passenger in need,” said David Uchiyama, Island Air president and CEO. “I would also like to thank Gov. Ige and Mayors Arakawa and Caldwell for recognizing these three individuals and raising awareness for training in CPR and the use of AEDs.”

Hawaii State Announces Details of Japan Airlines’ New Daily, Non-Stop Service to Kona

New flights expected to bring in nearly $10 M in annual tax revenue

Gov. David Ige, Japan Airlines and the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation announced details of JAL’s return to the Kona International Airport at Keāhole on Hawai‘i Island. JAL is starting a new daily, non-stop service between Narita International Airport in Tokyo and the Kona International Airport.

The new service is an addition to JAL’s six current non-stop flights between Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Honolulu.

“Japan Airlines has offered continuous service to the State of Hawai‘i for more than 60 years now. Over the years, JAL has played a significant role in the expansion of our state’s tourism industry, economy and the cultural exchange we enjoy with Japan. We are excited about the new daily service to Kona, which is well on its way to becoming Hawai‘i’s second major international port of entry,” said Gov. Ige.

“Japan Airlines is pleased to announce return-to-service between Narita and Kona International Airport at Keahole (starting September 15, 2017),” said Yoshiharu Ueki, President of Japan Airlines. “For over 60 years, JAL has been serving and promoting travel to the beautiful state of Hawai‘i and this latest route gives our customers based in Japan and in other Asia gateways a second destination in addition to our six daily flights from Narita, Nagoya and Osaka to Honolulu.”

JAL’s new service is expected to result in about $84.2 million in visitor expenditures and about $9.8 million in state tax revenue, according to the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. The service will also support about 900 jobs on Hawai‘i Island.

The Narita/Kona flights will operate with fully revamped JAL SKY SUITE 767 (767-300ER) aircraft and will be fitted with the airline’s most current interiors. The aircraft seats 199 passengers.

The flights will depart Narita at 9:25 p.m. and arrive in Kona at 10:15 a.m. Service from Kona will depart at 12:15 p.m. and arrive in Narita at 4:00 p.m. the next day. Schedules are subject to government approval.

The new daily flights are set to begin on Sept. 15, 2017.

Honolulu International Airport is Now The Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL)

With immense pride the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) officially announces the Honolulu International Airport is now the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL).

HNL is officially the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. Photos courtesy: HDOT

“Dan spent more than 50 years flying between Honolulu and Washington, DC. representing the people of Hawaii. The iconic tower upon which his name is now affixed is a beacon and beckoning symbol to visitors and residents alike. I know he is pleased and smiling down on us,” said Mrs. Irene Hirano Inouye. “Thank you for this honor for Dan and the Inouye family.”

“Senator Inouye made a lasting and positive impact on our state, nation and world,” said Gov. David Ige. “His life reflects who we are today as a people, place and culture. His work as a public servant tells a modern-day story that will benefit future generations. It is fitting that our international airport will be named after the senator so that we may honor and remember him and others of his generation for the legacy they left behind. I hope those who work at and travel through our international airports will be reminded of Senator Inouye’s life and the values he lived by.”

The new Daniel K. Inouye International Airport sign on the Airports Division District Office Tower is black during the day and illuminates white at night. The picture shows the mauka side of the building.

Daniel Ken Inouye was born in Honolulu September 7, 1924 and graduated from William McKinley High School, the University of Hawaii at Manoa and George Washington University. He served as Hawaii’s first representative in Congress in 1959. In 1962 he was elected to the U.S. Senate making him the first Japanese American to serve in both the House and Senate, ultimately representing Hawaii for a combined 53 years. He was the second longest serving Senator in history and rose to the rank of president pro tempore, which is third on the presidential succession, making him the highest ranking Asian American public official in U.S. history. During his tenure he continuously secured much needed federal funding for Hawaii which benefited projects on all islands.

New signage displaying Daniel K. Inouye International Airport has been installed on the Airports Division District Office Tower and above the roadway signs at the entrance of the facility.

Senator Inouye is a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, the nation’s highest award for military valor, for his heroic and courageous actions while serving in the decorated 442nd Regimental Combat Team during World War II. Despite being shot in the stomach and having his right arm lost to a rifle grenade, Inouye continued fighting and leading his men in combat, eventually destroying multiple German bunkers in the battle.

After his death in 2012, Senator Inouye was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, making him the first senator to receive both the Medal of Freedom and the Medal of Honor. For additional information regarding the distinguished and legendary career of Daniel K. Inouye please visit http://www.danielkinouyeinstitute.org/

In a touching moment Maggie Inouye, granddaughter of Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, placed her hand with blessed Hawaiian water on to her grandfather’s face during the blessing ceremony while Kahu Kordell Kekoa, Mrs. Irene Hirano Inouye and Ken Inouye, Maggie’s dad, looked on.

The State Legislature approved House Concurrent Resolution 88 Senate Draft 2 in the 2016 session calling on the airport to be renamed after Senator Daniel K. Inouye. The resolution passed unanimously. To read the resolution visit  http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/HCR88_SD2_.htm

The HDOT Airports Division has replaced the iconic “Honolulu International Airport” lettering above the district office building with new signage stating, “Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.” The lettering is black during the day and illuminated white at night. New signage over the roadway signs above the entrances to the airport from the H-1 Freeway are also in place. The general contractor for the project is Global Specialty Contractors, Inc. The total cost of the new signage, parts, materials, labor, removal of old signs and repairs to the structures for new signs was nearly one million dollars. Because HDOT is self-sustaining no general funds were used, meaning no tax money was spent on the project. Instead HDOT generates its own revenue through user fees. In the Airport Division’s case, project costs, operating expenses and salaries primarily comes from concessions and airline revenue. Primary sources of funding include, landing fees, terminal rentals, parking revenue and passenger facility charges.

Kahu Kordell Kekoa (from left to right); Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell; Gov. David Ige’s Chief of Staff Mike McCartney; Mrs. Irene Hirano Inouye; Ken Inouye, Sen. Inouye’s son; Maggie Inouye, Sen. Inouye’s granddaughter; U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard and State Senate President Ronald Kouchi participate in the traditional untying of the maile lei during the ceremony.

With more than 20 million annual passengers, 23,000 employees, more than 300,000 aircraft operations a year, and encompassing an area larger than Waikiki, the former Honolulu International Airport, is the biggest and most active airport in the state. The 24/7 facility is visited by residents and visitors from around the world. Twenty-five airlines serve the airport offering direct flights to and from the neighbor islands and dozens of national and international destinations.

HDOT will officially reference the facility as the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, however the Federal Aviation Administration will continue to use the HNL acronym.

A Daniel K. Inouye exhibit showcases the life and career of the late Senator through photographs and memorabilia. The exhibit is located in the Overseas Terminal near gate 24, which is one of the busiest sections of the airport educating thousands of people a day about his contributions and legacy.

In addition, there is an exhibit celebrating the Nisei veterans of World War II, many of whom fought with the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, Military Intelligence Service and 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion. Sen. Inouye fought with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the most decorated unit in U.S. history based on size and length of service. The exhibit was produced to preserve and perpetuate the acts of heroism and the achievements of the Japanese American soldiers in World War II. It is located in the makai end of the Interisland Terminal near gate 56.

Ken and Jessica Inouye and their daughter Maggie helped Kahu Kordell Kekoa bless the new signs that are displayed above the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport District Office Tower. All Photos Courtesy: HDOT

This is the fourth name change in the airport’s long history. It originally opened in 1927 as the John Rodgers Airport. After surviving the attack on Pearl Harbor the airport was renamed Honolulu Airport in 1947. The International designation was included in 1951.

The airport utilizes six runways, including two sealanes. A unique airport feature is the Reef Runway, which was the first major runway in the world to be built offshore. There are three cultural gardens featuring Hawaiian, Chinese and Japanese heritage, which offer travelers a relaxing break where they can learn about native Asian and Hawaiian plants and architecture.

For additional information about the Daniel K. Inouye airport and its features visit http://airports.hawaii.gov/hnl/

Japan Airlines Announces New Routes to Kona – Hawaii Governor to Hold News Conference Tomorrow

Japan Airlines (JAL) yesterday announced that it will launch new nonstop services between Tokyo (Narita) and Melbourne starting September 1, 2017, and between Tokyo (Narita) and Kona from September 15, 2017.

Tomorrow, Governor Ige will hold a news conference detailing the new routes with Mayor Harry Kim and Japan Airlines Director/Chairman Masaru Onisihi

Melbourne will become the second destination in Australia within JAL’s international network. Additionally, a nonstop service will return between Tokyo (Narita) and Kona, the gateway to Hawaii Island, which is one of the most popular destinations in Hawaii and surrounded by a rich natural environment.

The JAL Group will continue to embrace new challenges to deliver greater customer convenience and comfort, enhance its networks, and improve the quality of products and services.

JAL currently operates six daily flights to Honolulu, including four daily flights from Narita, and one daily flight from Osaka (Kansai) and Nagoya (Chubu), respectively. Starting September 15, 2017, JAL will resume nonstop service to Kona on Hawaii Island after a seven-year absence. The daily service from Narita will operate using the airline’s JAL SKY SUITE configured aircraft.

Hawaii Island, also commonly known as the Big Island, is one of the most popular travel destinations and surrounded by a rich natural environment. With this new Kona service, both customers visiting Hawaii for the first time and those who have visited Honolulu previously, will be able to discover more of Hawaii’s countless charms.

The well-received JAL SKY SUITE 767 aircraft operating the Narita = Kona route is fitted with the airline’s latest interior including fully flat “JAL SKY SUITEⅡ”seats in Business Class.

“JAL SKY SUITEⅡ”seats

In Economy Class, “JAL SKY WIDER” seats offer increased pitch and a slim-style seatback design resulting in approximately 10 cm (max.) more legroom than the previous seat pitch.

“JAL SKY WIDER” seats

The following plans and schedules are subject to government approval.

Note: Arrival time of JL770 and Departure time of JL779 will be 10 minutes earlier from October 1 through October 28, 2017.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Will Implement Third Phase of Fee Increase June 1

On June 1, entrance fees at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will increase, the last phase of a three-year incremental plan to meet national standards for parks with similar visitor amenities.

The 2017 per-vehicle fee will change from $20 to $25 and the pass is valid for seven days. The per-person fee (the rate bicyclists and pedestrians pay) will increase from $10 to $12, and the motorcycle fee will increase to $20.

The popular annual Tri-Park Pass will increase from $25 to $30 in 2017. The annual Tri-Park Pass is available to all visitors and allows unlimited entry for one year to three national parks: Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, and Haleakalā National Park.

Entrance fees at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park support ongoing trail maintenance, road and parking lot striping, cabin repairs, hike guides, restrooms, picnic tables, and much more.

Recreational entrance fees are not charged to holders of the Tri-Park Pass, America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Lands (“Interagency”) Pass, Senior, Access, Every Kidin a Park, Volunteer, or Military passes. These passes may be obtained at the park, or online. In addition, visitors less than 16 years old are not charged entrance fees.

Fee increases for the park’s backcountry and front-country campsites were implemented in October 2016. There is a $10 per night charge for the front-country campground at Kulanaokuaiki, up to seven consecutive nights; and a $10 per permit charge for backcountry campgrounds like Nāpau, ‘Āpua Point, and Halapē, up to three consecutive nights. Availability is on a first-come basis, not a reservation system. The camping permit fees are similar to other public camping fees statewide.

In addition, entrance fees will increase for commercial tour companies on June 1. Road-based tour vans carrying one to six passengers pay a $25 base fee and starting June 1, will pay a $12 per-person rate to enter the park. The commercial tour per-person rate will remain at $12 through 2021. The base fee will not change. Non-road-based tour companies, i.e. hiking tour companies that are on trails more than touring the park by vehicle, don’t pay a base rate but their per-person entrance fees will increase under the schedule.

The current National Park Service (NPS) fee program began in 1997 and allows parks to retain 80 percent of monies collected. Projects funded by entrance fees enhance the visitor experience and safety at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and include ongoing trail maintenance, road and parking lot striping, cabin repairs, hike guides, restrooms, picnic tables, and more. The transformation of the 1932 Administration Building (‘Ōhi‘a Wing) into a cultural museum that visitors will soon enjoy is also a fee-funded project. Entrance fees also protect the Hawaiian ecosystem by funding fencing projects that prevent non-native ungulates like pigs and goats from devouring rare native plants.

An NPS report shows that 1,887,580 visitors to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park in 2016 spent $159,195,500 in communities near the park. That spending supported 1,917 jobs on island, and had a cumulative benefit to the local community of $199,923,400.

REPORT: Native Hawaiian-Owned Firms in Hawaii’s Tourism Sector

The Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT) has released the report “Native Hawaiian-Owned Firms in Hawaii’s Tourism Sector”. To obtain the report, click here.

The executive summary begins with “According to the U.S. Census Bureau data, Native Hawaiians owned a total of 13,147 firms in Hawaii in 2012. 3,972 or 30.2 percent of these firms were in the tourism sector and accounted for 10.1 percent of the total tourism sector firms in the state.”

Click to read report

An updated DBEDT ACS interactive map is also now available. It may be found on the Office of Planning’s State GIS Program’s website here.

This map product is a joint project between our Research and Economic Analysis Division and the Hawaii Statewide GIS Program. In this map, area profiles for all Hawaii census tracts, State Senate Districts and State House Districts were updated with the latest 2011-2015 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year data . State of Hawaii as well as county figures are also provided. For downloadable files containing this profile data, click here.

An Analysis of Consumer Debt: How Does Hawaii Compare with the Nation?

The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) released a report today, “An Analysis of Consumer Debt: How does Hawaii Compare with the Nation?” The report examined various consumer debt categories.

The report highlights why our per capita debt is high, which is due to high housing prices in Hawaii, with 77 percent of our debt from mortgage debt.

Hawaii’s home ownership increased 10 percentage points from 46.9 percent in 1970 to 56.9 percent in 2015 while the U.S. home ownership increased less than one percentage point from 62.9 percent to 63.8 percent during the same time period.

Chief State Economist Dr. Eugene Tian noted that the high mortgage debt may also have negative impacts, including less consumers spending on other goods and services by home owners, increasing rental payment for renters, and the leakage of mortgage payment to out-of-state financial institutions.

Following are some of the highlights of the report:

  • Hawaii’s total consumer debt per capita increased from $51,810 in 2005 to $67,010 in 2015, ranking it second highest in the nation.
  • For mortgage debt per capita, Hawaii has been steadily increasing in the state rankings, from the sixth highest state in 2005 to the highest state in 2015.
  • Hawaii ranks low among states for auto loans per capita, while defaults for those with auto loans are close to U.S. average.
  • Hawaii residents have relatively high credit card debt. Hawaii ranked fourth in the nation in 2010 and 2015 for credit card debt per capita.
  • Hawaii ranks the lowest in the nation for per capita student debt.
  • For the other debt category (home equity lines of credit, consumer cards, and consumer-financed debt), Hawaii leads the nation for the average amount per capita at $5,300. This partially reflects Hawaii’s high residential real estate values and the home equity loan balances supported by these high values.

The report is available at: http://files.hawaii.gov/dbedt/economic/reports/consumer_debt_final.pdf

Mauna to Mauna Ultra Happening Now on the Big Island of Hawaii

Endurance Events USA is pleased to announce the inaugural edition of the Mauna to Mauna Ultra, which is happening now on the Big Island and will continue until May 20, 2017. This unique event is a 6-stage, 7 day, self-supported footrace, covering a cumulative distance of approximately 155 miles (250 km). The race is open to runners and hikers.

The 155-mile course route which began at Coconut Island in Hilo, winds through 11 of the world’s 13 climate zones, and finishes at Hapuna Beach. The course is taking participants up the world’s most massive mountain (Mauna Loa) and part way up the world’s tallest mountain (Mauna Kea), hence the name of the race: Mauna to Mauna. Participants are climbing more than 16,000 feet over the course of the race.

The field of participants from all over the world has come together for this challenging event, assuming the responsibility of carrying their own backpacks containing food, sleeping bag, mat and other mandatory equipment for the week.

Participants could elect to compete as individuals or teams. Participants were expected to possess basic outdoor survival skills such as familiarity with outdoor gear and backpacking. However, they were not required to possess any technical navigational or climbing skills to take part in the Event. Entrants from 20 countries are participating.

The event is sponsored by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Island of Hawai‘i Visitors Bureau and the County of Hawai‘i.

Please visit the event website at www.m2multra.com for more information. Follow the event on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mauna2mauna.

 

Kona Brewing Company’s New “Dear Mainland” Campaign Rolls Out Today

At a time when Americans are leaving millions of unused vacation days on the table and spending more time in front of screens than ever before, Kona Brewing Company and the larger-than-life but laid back Hawaiian “Bruddahs” from the “Dear Mainland” campaign are back to playfully suggest that shifting our priorities might help us enjoy life more. In new digital videos that launch May 8, the Bruddahs humorously remind us to get out and have some real-life fun as they “review” a few of the ways we get stuck to our screens – whether to catch up on the latest reality television feud, crush a mobile game, or check out a viral cat-in-funny outfit video.

The :15 videos are part of Kona Brewing’s evolution of the successful integrated “Dear Mainland” campaign, which is expanding to include TV, digital video and retail components, as well as new localized TV spots in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Sacramento and San Francisco.

The Dear Mainland campaign created with Duncan Channon, which juxtaposes the easy-going and distinctly local perspective of the Bruddahs with common all-work-no-play mainlander pressures, has driven significant business growth for Kona Brewing Company since its 2014 launch. After the first year, Kona saw a 37 percent sales lift in markets where the campaign aired – the third highest lift recorded by IRI in 12 years. In 2016, Kona recorded an additional 15 percent growth over the previous year’s record in campaign markets.

“Kona’s Dear Mainland campaign has been successful because people love the light-hearted way our ‘Bruddahs’ deliver the relatable and much-needed reminder to step outside their daily routine and make time for what matters most to them,” said Cindy Wang, senior director of brand marketing for Kona Brewing Co. “That’s why we’re excited to showcase their special brand of Hawaiian wisdom in new formats beyond traditional TV spots and create hyper-local ways to engage new audiences.”

“We know people are guilty of spending time online at the expense of other meaningful, relaxing or fun experiences, so it makes sense for us to reach our audience on social to deliver Kona’s good humored message about screen time,” added Wang.

Created by San Francisco’s Duncan Channon, a 2016 Ad Age Small Agency of the Year, the digital videos were shot in Hawaii at Kikaua Point Park, Kailua-Kona with Waimea resident Dave Bell and Blake “Brutus” La Benz from Honolulu. Three :15 second videos will run May 8 through September 3, 2017 on Facebook and Instagram:

  • Kona Reviews: Phone Apps” – pokes fun at the mobile game phenomenon and gamification that keeps Americans chained to their phones
  • Kona Reviews: Reality TV” – tongue-in-cheek reference to reality TV drama that contrasts with the serene experience of drinking a cold Kona beer at the beach
  • Kona Reviews: Viral Videos” – reminds us that there may be more fulfilling things to do and discover in life than the latest viral cat video sensation

“The Kona brand is all about encouraging people to slow down, breathe and connect with what matters – family, friends, nature, experiences,” said Anne Elisco-Lemme, executive creative director, Duncan Channon. “In the new creative, the brothers’ tongue-in-cheek banter about pop culture content that keeps us chained to our screens reminds us that we sometimes need to put down the phone, turn off the TV or close that YouTube video to get out and enjoy life.”

Duncan Channon also produced a series of short-form videos called “Dear Kona,” which will run on Facebook and Instagram during the same time period. The videos feature the Bruddahs’ responses to fictional letters from mainlanders asking advice about how to deal with life situations, such as an amped-up boss labeling every email “urgent.” View the videos here:

As part of Kona’s 360 degree approach to reach audiences no matter where they are, Kona also partnered with CBS to create dedicated local TV creative that offers the Bruddahs’ laid-back view on the local values of five California counties: Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Sacramento and San Francisco. The localized TV spots will air in each market exclusively on Thursdays – the day of the week the Bruddahs want people to treat like “Little Fridays”  by making time to enjoy themselves. Kona will also encourage fans to put a little “Friday” into everyday giving away a weekly prize through a new “Little Friday” online sweepstakes, which will be promoted on social media and in retail stores. Consumers can enter starting May 8 at: www.konabrewingco.com/littlefridays.

The brand teamed with the AV Club to bring music artists Thao and Zipper Club to the home of Kona beer in Kona, HI, to film a national TV special that will air nationally on Fusion TV on August 31, 2017. Kona will also present a special concert featuring Boulevards, Thao and Zipper Club in Los Angeles at Hotel Cafe on July 20, 2017. “Little Friday Acoustic Sessions” sessions and interviews with the artists courtesy of Kona will be unveiled at www.avclub.com throughout the summer.

The new elements in the “Dear Mainland” campaign will complement the airing of existing Kona TV spots “Little Fridays,” “FOMO” and “Sad Hour” due to their continued success with audiences. The TV spots, which originally launched in the summer of 2014 will air in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Sacramento May through September.

Coast Guard Proposing Permanent 300 Meter Safety Zone for Lava Tour Boats – Public Meeting TONIGHT

The Coast Guard proposes to establish a permanent safety zone for the navigable waters surrounding the entry of lava from Kilauea volcano into the Pacific Ocean on the southeast side of the Island of Hawaii, HI.

The safety zone will encompass all waters extending 300 meters (984 feet) in all directions around all entry points of lava flow into the ocean. The entry points of the lava vary, and the safety zone will vary accordingly. The safety zone is needed to protect persons and vessels from the potential hazards associated with molten lava entering the ocean resulting in explosions of large chunks of hot rock and debris upon impact, collapses of the sea cliff into the ocean, hot lava arching out and falling into the ocean, and the release of toxic gases. Entry of persons or vessels into this safety zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port (COTP) Honolulu or his designated representative.

The Coast Guard will host a public meeting regarding the Notice of Proposed Rule Making for the Kamokuna lava ocean entry safety zone at the East Hawaii County Building at 5 p.m., TONIGHT, Monday May 8, 2017.

Mau‘i’s Most Popular Trail Gets Safety and Conservation Upgrades

On one side of the Waihe‘e Ridge Trail, hikers look deep into the Waihe‘e Gorge.  On the other, they look across Makamakaole Gulch and out into the shimmering Pacific Ocean.  On a clear day, yet another view is across the entire central plain of Maui all the way to the top of Haleakala.  This challenging, but scenic trail is considered the most popular path on Maui in the State’s Nā Ala Hele Trail and Access Program.

Now the thousands of people who make the 2.5-mile trek to the top can do it safer and probably with a heck of a lot less mud attached to their boots.  An almost completed $122,000 trail improvement program provides two viewing platforms, drainage features in particularly boggy areas, and better trail tread to reduce slickness.  Torrie Nohara, the Nā Ala Hele trails specialist on Maui commented, “On every trail, water control is the number one consideration. We’ve built “sheet drains” that will divert water off the trail and not only make it more enjoyable for users, but help prevent erosion. On the lower portions of the trail we did significant excavation of large boulders and rocks to improve the contour of the trail.”

The Nā Ala Hele program falls under the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW). It hired Cam Lockwood of Trails Unlimited to help design the new features and supervise trail improvement and construction work.  His California-based company has built and improved trails nationwide.  He says the Waihe’e Ridge Trail incorporates some of the best thinking and best practices around for trail improvements.  “For instance,” Lockwood explained, “The large viewing platform on top and the one about a mile up the trail are constructed with pressure treated lumber raised off the ground to provide a longer useful life. Composite decking was used on the viewing platforms to also extend their life spans and to provide improved traction in the often, wet conditions at the terminus of the trail.”  He said the primary consideration for all the improvements was to make the entire trail more sustainable, more enjoyable, and safer.  He describes the views from the top as “breathtaking” and hopes people will focus on those, rather than the challenge involved in making the 1,500-foot elevation gain hike.

While most of the major construction is now complete, crews continue to put finishing touches on some of the features and certain sections of the trail.  The Waihe’e Ridge Trail is open for hiking, but people are asked to exercise caution and respect when traversing through construction zones. For complete information on this trail please visit:https://hawaiitrails.org/trails/#/trail/waihee-ridge-trail/111

Waihee Ridge Trail Improvements VNR from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.

Coast Guard Holding Public Meeting Regarding Changes to Kamokuna Lava Ocean Entry Safety Zone

The Coast Guard will host a public meeting regarding the Notice of Proposed Rule Making for the Kamokuna lava ocean entry safety zone at the East Hawaii County Building at 5 p.m., Monday.

Kamokuna Ocean Entrance

A Notice of Proposed Rule Making is public notice a federal agency intends to create, add, remove or change a rule or regulation. The Coast Guard encourages citizens to participate in the rulemaking process by reviewing the rulemaking docket and providing public comment via the Federal Register. Public comments ensure Coast Guard rules and regulations are in the best interest of all parties. The Coast Guard is holding this public meeting as part of the NPRM process to encourage public input regarding the possible permanence and scope of the safety zone in place at Kamokuna.

To view the NPRM in the Federal Register, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2017-0234 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.”  Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule. The Coast Guard strongly prefers comments to be submitted electronically.  Electronic comments may be submitted via http://www.regulations.gov.  Click the “COMMENT NOW” box on the top right of Docket Folder. Written comments may also be submitted (e.g. postmarked) by the deadline, via mail to Commander (spw), U.S. Coast Guard Sector Honolulu, 433 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96850.

The comment period ends at 11:59 p.m. June 2, 2017.

  • WHO: Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Captain of the Port
  • WHAT: Hosts public meeting as part of the Notice of Proposed Rule Making to collect public input on the Notice of Proposed Rule Making process regarding the safety zone
  • WHERE: East Hawaii County Building (Hilo) Aupuni Center Conference Room located at 101 Pauahi Street #7, Hilo, HI, 96720
  • WHEN: 5 p.m., May 8, 2017. Media are asked to arrive no later than 4:30 p.m.

Media interested in attending are asked to RSVP no later than Monday at 12 p.m. by contacting the Coast Guard 14th District public affairs office at 808-341-9849.

Coast Guard Medevacs Passenger Off Cruise Ship in Hawaii

A 66-year-old woman is in stable condition at Hilo Medical Center on Big Island after being medically evacuated by the Coast Guard, Tuesdy.

Wiki photo via Johan Fredriksson

“We are proud of all the crews involved, including that of the Emerald Princess, for their cooperation and work ensuring the passenger received appropriate care,” said Kelvin Morgan, operations unit controller at Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Barbers Point successfully conducted the hoist of the woman, reportedly suffering from abdominal trauma, at 12:30 p.m., and transported her to awaiting EMS at Hilo International Airport. She was then further transported to Hilo Medical Center.

Watchstanders at JRCC Honolulu received notification from the crew of passenger vessel Emerald Princess at 7:40 p.m., Monday. The vessel was 390 miles southeast of Big Island making 25 mph en route Hilo.

The watchstanders briefed the duty flight surgeon and agreed on a medevac. A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules fixed-wing aircrew from Air Station Barbers Point launched to provide top cover and communications while the Emerald Princess transited toward the islands.

Once within range, an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew launched from Air Station Barbers Point and successfully hoisted the patient 81 miles southeast of Oahu.

Weather on scene was reportedly winds of 12 mph with 6-foot seas.

Funding for Rail on Life Support – House and Senate Disagree on How to Pay for City’s Financially Troubled Project

The House of Representatives and the Senate could not agree today on amending Senate Bill 1183, the vehicle for funding the city’s financially troubled rail project.

Click to read bill

The House version of the rail funding bill takes the tax burden off Hawaii residents by increasing the Transient Accommodation Tax paid primarily by tourists. The proposal would provide nearly all of the money needed to complete the project, estimated to cost $8.1 billion, from Kapolei to Ala Moana.

The Senate also amended the bill, by extending the state’s 0.5 percent surcharge levied on Oahu’s general excise tax for an additional 10 years from 2027 until 2037.

“GET is one of the most regressive tax. It taxes the working poor and the elderly. It is our responsibility to stand up for those individuals,” said Representative Sylvia Luke (Makiki, Punchbowl, Nuuanu, Dowsett Highlands, Pacific Heights, Pauoa).

After consulting with members of the hotel industry, the House amended the bill to provide $1.7 billion for the rail project.

“We clearly support rail and the House plan provides more funding than any other conference draft we have seen,” said Representative Henry Aquino (Waipahu). “This is a responsible amendment that would provide funding in the quickest way possible.”

The House proposal for SB 1183 SD2 HD2 HCD2 includes:

Transient Accommodation Tax (TAT)

  • Increases TAT from 9.25 percent to 10.25 percent for 11 years through 2028
  • Prohibits the use of the TAT funds for rail operations and maintenance
  • Prohibits use of the TAT funds for HART administrative and operating costs
  • Maintains counties’ share of TAT revenue at $103 million per year (the share was scheduled to be reduced to $93 million beginning fiscal year (2017-2018)
  • Honolulu’s share of the TAT county subsidy (44.1 percent) will be solely directed toward funding rail
  • The scheduled 2018 reduction in the neighbor island county TAT subsidies will be eliminated and those counties will continue to receive their current TAT subsidy that is calculated as a percentage of $103 million through fiscal year 2027-2028:
  1. Oahu $45.4 million
  2. Maui $23.4 million
  3. Hawaii $19.1 million
  4. Kauai $14.9 million
  • These TAT amendments could generate $926.8 million over the 11-year period.

General Excise Tax (GET)

  • Extends the county surcharge on GET for an additional one year from 2027-2028
  • Continues the state’s reduced share of the administrative service fee (“skim”) at 1 percent in 2028
  • The reduction of the State’s skim to 1 percent generates $350 million from 2018-2028
  • These GET amendments generate $435.2 million in 2028.

New Start Education Special Fund

  • Reduces the annual allocation (for 11 years) for the New Start Education Special Fund from $50 million to $25 million, for a total of $275 million.

City Non-Rail Development

  • Prohibits a county from using public funds to reconstruct or redevelop an event venue (and associated infrastructure and appurtenances) that is within a Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA) district or in a manner that requires HCDA approval, through December 31, 2028.

Hawaiian Airlines Launches Daily Service Between Los Angeles and Kaua‘i – Summer Flights to Kona Resume

Hawaiian Airlines’ popular daily non-stop summer flights between Los Angeles and Kaua‘i will now be offered year-round starting on May 26, the airline announced today. Also beginning on Memorial Day weekend, Hawaiian will resume seasonal service between California and Kaua‘i and the Kona Coast on the Island of Hawai‘i, providing travelers direct access to both islands during the peak summer months.

Hawaiian will turn its seasonal service between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Līhu‘e Airport (LIH) into a permanent daily flight due to consistently strong demand from Southern California.

“For the past four years, our summer schedule has been well-received by West Coast travelers seeking convenient service to our Neighbor Islands,” said Peter Ingram, Hawaiian Airlines executive vice president and chief commercial officer. “Guests will continue to enjoy our warm and authentic Hawaiian hospitality and island-inspired meals as they set off for the beautiful island of Kaua‘i or the stunning Kona Coast.”

As part of its summer schedule, Hawai‘i’s largest and longest-serving carrier is bringing back non-stop daily flights between Oakland International Airport (OAK) and LIH starting May 27 through Sept. 4.

Non-stop flights between LAX and Kona International Airport (KOA) will commence on May 28. KOA-LAX flights will be offered on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, while LAX-KOA flights will be available Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, also through Sept. 4.

Guests aboard Hawaiian’s flights will enjoy the carrier’s signature Mea Ho‘okipa (I am host) onboard hospitality, island-style complimentary meals and made-in-Hawai’i snacks. Flights between Los Angeles and Kona will be served by Hawaiian’s wide-body Airbus A330 aircraft featuring first class, Extra Comfort and economy seats. Guests traveling between Los Angeles or Oakland and Līhu‘e will be aboard the airline’s wide-body Boeing 767 aircraft offering first class and economy seating.

Tickets for the seasonal non-stop flights are available for purchase online at HawaiianAirlines.com or by calling Hawaiian Airlines’ reservations department toll-free at (800) 367-5320.