The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) on September 25 issued a demand for Hawaii Tourism Association (HITA) to no longer use the name Hawaii Tourism Association.

This is the press release issued by HTA on September 25. Hawaii Tourism Association was not consulted beforehand nor informed about the release.

HONOLULU – The Hawaii Tourism Authority was recently made aware of an entity called the “Hawaii Tourism Association,” utilizing the email address aloha@hawaiitourismassociation.com and website address hawaiitourismassociation.com. This group is in no way related to the Hawaii Tourism Authority and it is not a state agency.
Furthermore, the State of Hawaii has not endorsed the entity’s “Safer Tourism Seal” program nor any email solicitation on this matter.
The Hawaii Attorney General’s office sent a letter today to the “Hawaii Tourism Association,” demanding the entity cease and desist from the use of the name “Hawaii Tourism Association” in any public or commercial forum or medium.

Response by Hawaii Tourism Association

The Hawaii Tourism Association (HITA) and this website was established more than 12 years ago as a private entity of volunteers and concerned Hawaii citizens. HITA has worked with volunteers to make Hawaii a better place for tourism.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority was aware of our name from the very first moment it was established back in 2008. The organization has been covered in the press many times. A meeting with David Uchiyama, former head of marketing for HTA took place at the HTA office on the day the Hawaii Tourism Association was established.

The Honolulu Advertiser has been reporting about HITA since 2008:

The Hawaii Tourism Association had been using HITA and not HTA since 2009. Here is a link to an article in Pacific Business News from 2009.

The founder had been serving on the US Department of Commerce Export Council representing tourism for Hawaii. The appointment lasted for more than 2 years, and US Secretary of Commerce on December 31, 2013, issued a certificate of appreciation. It was fully disclosed and understood that the Hawaii Tourism Association had no affiliation with the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

It can only be assumed that the new leadership at HTA is not yet completely informed about the role HITA has been playing. We are currently attempting to discuss this confusion with the Hawaii Tourism Authority and have stopped operation until this can be clarified.

It has been clearly disclosed since the start of HITA and on all web sites that the Hawaii Tourism Association has no affiliation with the Hawaii Tourism Authority or any State or Government agency.

The following initiatives are currently suspended, to be handled through the Hawaii Tourism Association, subject to clarification . Please visit the initiative websites directly.