HawaiiThe do’s and don’ts of cultural etiquette

How to make a Hawaiian happy

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Sunset on a Maui Beach. Photo Credit: Matt Anderson/GettyImages
Many travellers visiting the Hawaiian Islands don’t necessarily understand why we stay on the trail when we hike, why we care about protecting our reefs, and many of the dangers they need to be mindful of,– ay Talwar, HVCB’s chief marketing officer

HONOLULU – A partnership between the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) and the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) is aimed at helping visitors to understand the unwritten rules regarding cultural etiquette in the Hawaiian Islands.

It’s called the Kuleana Campaign. Kuleana means responsibility and it’s the personal and collective commitment to the people of Hawaii and the place they call home.

The campaign includes a series of videos featuring 15 Hawaii residents
that are aimed at curbing some of the challenges faced by Oahu, Maui County, Kauai, and Hawaii Island.

Topics include ocean safety, ocean conservation, culture, land safety, astute renting, and pono tourism.

Pono is a Hawaiian word, one with multi-level meaning. When something - a place, an event, a person’s attitude or a way of doing things - is "pono," it is in a state of correctness. It is respectful, safe, accurate and responsible.

“Many travellers visiting the Hawaiian Islands don’t necessarily understand why we stay on the trail when we hike, why we care about protecting our reefs, and many of the dangers they need to be mindful of,” said Jay Talwar, HVCB’s chief marketing officer.

“Rather than scold them, we felt that if our residents shared the ‘whys’ behind appropriate behaviour then most visitors would follow along; in other words, if we don’t show them the trail, how can we expect them to stay on it?.”

Some of the messages include: swim, surf and snorkel only when a lifeguard is on duty and be aware of ocean conditions before entering the water.

Be mindful of the impact plastics and sunscreens have on Hawaii’s coral reefs.

Research legal vacation rentals thoroughly online before booking to avoid scams.

Several airlines including Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Hawaiian Airlines and Southwest Airlines are showing these videos to passengers before they arrive in the islands.

Tourism dollars through the Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT) are being used to pay for the creation and distribution of the videos.


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