The Hawaii Tourism Authority has awarded the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau the contract to market the island to the mainland U.S., the island’s largest source market, the agency announced Monday. The contract is worth over $38 million, has a two and a half year term with an option of a two-year extension and is scheduled to begin on June 22.
The U.S. tourism marketing contract has had a rough procurement process. It was previously combined with destination management into one single contract by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. That contract was awarded last year to the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, a community non-profit, as part of the state tourism agency’s pivot to a more sustainable approach to tourism and improve relations with residents. The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau has traditionally won the U.S. marketing contract and is backed the hotels.
The original contract’s implementation was stalled by legal protests from the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau then canceled at the last minute by a government official. The Hawaii Tourism Authority broke it up into two separate contracts, one for destination management and another for marketing, which is going to the convention bureau.
The agency awarded the destination management contract to the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. It’s worth over $27 million for a two and a half year period with an option for two one-year extensions. It’s scheduled to begin June 20.
Finally, the contract to market to Canada went to VoX International, is worth $2.4 million, has an initial two and a half year term with an option for one two-year extension and is scheduled to begin June 30.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority said the contract winners will advance the agency’s regenerative model of tourism. A key focus for contract performance will be resident sentiment improvement.