The Hawaii Tourism Authority put two contracts up to bid, one for marketing to the U.S. and the other for destination management, on February 14. The two contracts are essentially a split of the previous one that included both responsibilities and had been awarded to a community non-profit. A government official canceled the it minutes before his term ended on December 5.
The island’s tourism agency is redoing a procurement process that originally represented its shift toward a “local-first” approach. In June, the agency awarded the previous contract (worth $34 million) to Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement over Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB), which currently markets the island to the U.S. and has done so for over decades with strong support from the traditional tourism industry. The bureau stalled the original contract’s start date through legal protests.
Under the procurement process reset, there’s now a scenario where the convention bureau may end up winning the U.S. marketing contract. The contract would start on June 1, 2023 and end on December 31, 2025.