For guests booking stays in Hawaii, Outrigger Hotels and Resorts has rolled out a new ecotourism option which includes hands-on volunteering experiences and a complimentary third night free.
The idea for the programme was birthed from the destination's 'Malama Hawaii' campaign — an initiative by Hawaii Tourism Authority and Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) — which means "to take care" in the tropical island's native tongue.
"We are after mindful travellers, and we believe they come from all over the socioeconomic spectrum. We want to target people who appreciate the way we represent Hawaii and who will protect the values of Hawaii," said Jay Talwar, chief marketing officer for HVCB.
All travellers have to do is first book Outrigger’s Malama Hawaii Experience, which includes a hands-on, two-hour voluntourism activity at Kualoa Ranch Private Nature Reserve. At this working cattle ranch, they will be immersed in various community service and cultural learning experiences, including a look at the negative effects of micro-plastics on the ocean, importance of using reef-safe sunscreen, and venturing through ancient fish ponds and farms.
In return, Outrigger guests will then receive every third night free when staying at Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort or Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger.
The hospitality brand's corporate culture of "caring for the guest, the host and the place" perfectly suits 'Malama Hawaii', which encourages "mindful, ultimately regenerative, travel,” said Monica Salter, Outrigger Hospitality Group's vice president of corporate communications.
“From mauka to makai (mountain to sea) — Kualoa Ranch is a breathtaking destination and we trust that our guests will return from this eco-adventure inspired, invigorated and with a deeper connection to Hawaii.”
Located on Oahu, home to the state capital, Honolulu, participating voluntourism guests will move across the 1,620-hectare private reserve in group sizes compliant to current state, city and country health restrictions.
Kualoa Ranch has also developed a comprehensive set of Covid-19 safety protocols which include mandatory masks, social distancing, contact tracing, intermittent sanitation procedures and temperature checks for all visitors and employees.
As part of the Safe Travel Hawaii programme, travellers with a negative Covid-19 test result prior to arriving to Hawaii will not be subject to a 10-day quarantine.