Three New Cultural Exhibits Unveiled at Hawaii Convention Center

Kī Hō‘alu: Honoring The Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Tradition

Kī Hō‘alu: Honoring The Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Tradition

Ma Kai – To the Sea – Seaward

Ma Kai – To the Sea – Seaward

‘Ahu‘ula o Kekūhaupi‘o

Artwork honors history of slack key guitar, surfing, and Chief Kekūhaupi‘o

The Hawai‘i Convention Center (HCC), the state’s largest meetings facility with a $2.5 million collection of local artwork, today unveiled three new exhibits celebrating the history of kī hō‘alu (or slack key guitar), the legendary sport of surfing, and Hawai‘i’s high chief Kekūhaupi‘o during a special blessing and ceremony this evening on the Center’s third floor concourse. More than 100 cultural, business and hospitality industry leaders attended the event.

Presented by AEG Facilities, the sponsorship of the new exhibits is part of HCC’s ongoing commitment to perpetuating Hawaiian culture as the management company of the Center. The investment ensures Hawaiian culture, history and heritage remains the focus and foundation of Hawai‘i storytelling and ensures an understanding of what makes places like the Hawaiian Islands and HCC so extraordinary is passed on to others. The initiative is also supported by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Outrigger Hotels and Resorts, and the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative.

“When the Hawai‘i Convention Center opened in 1998, not only was it designed to be a world- class meetings destination, it was also designed with a Hawai‘i ‘sense of place’ in mind,” said Teri Orton, HCC general manager. “Bringing the outside natural environment in is evident in its architectural design. However, one thing AEG Facilities and our staff are most proud of is the fact that this Center also boasts an impressive collection of local art thanks to our partnership with the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts and its ‘Art in Public Places’ program.”

The three new exhibits debuted on September 27, 2016:

Kī Hō‘alu: Honoring The Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Tradition

This exhibit was presented earlier this year at The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles as part of Mele Mei, a month-long celebration of Hawai‘i’s music, hula and culture. The GRAMMY Museum, in partnership with the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Arts and Outrigger Enterprises Group, presented the exhibit exploring one of the world’s greatest acoustic guitar traditions. With a history that dates back to the 1800s when the Spanish and Mexican cowboys came to Hawai‘i with their guitars, the unique sound of slack key comes from the resonance of the tunings and techniques that mimic the yodels and falsettos rooted in ancient chants that are common in Hawaiian singing. Through artifacts and historical instruments that trace the history of this Hawaiian music tradition, the Museum’s tribute to the slack key guitar served as the official kickoff of the Mele Mei 2016 celebration in Hawai‘i. It now returns home to Hawai‘i. Click here for more information.

Ma Kai – To the Sea – Seaward

This exhibit is a visual display of the importance of the Hawaiian sport of surfing, which has introduced the Hawaiian culture and Aloha spirit to the world. From Waikīkī, Mākaha and the North Shore, Hawaiian surfers brought their surfboards, culture and lifestyle to the coast of California and in doing so, often this became the first interaction between a Hawaiian and someone from the continent. This story is captured and shared in this exhibit by Allan Seymour of Classic Surf featuring a collection of four rare and vintage surfboards, surfing photos, original oil paintings, and surf memorabilia. Items on display include Duke Kahanamoku’s redwood surfboard circa 1920s, George Downing’s Mākaha Gun balsawood surfboard circa 1950s, Gerry Lope’s Pipeline Mini-Gun surfboard circa 1970s, Wade Koniakowsky’s original oil painting of Duke Kahanamoku, and much more. Click here for more information.

‘Ahu‘ula o Kekūhaupi‘o

This exhibit honors one the most influential and probably least known chiefs in Hawaiian history. Kekūhaupi‘o was said to be a master of Hawaiian martial arts, first serving as Kamehameha the Great’s combat instructor before becoming his loyal bodyguard, fearless warrior, and trusted advisor. In honor of Kekūhaupi‘o’s role in Hawaiian history, the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative commissioned master feather worker Rick San Nicolas in 2016 to create a replica of the cloak and helmet worn by the chief. In ancient times, feather cloaks and capes were symbols of power and social standing in Hawaiian culture. Only high-ranking chiefs or warriors of great ability were entitled to wear these exceptional garments. The bright, velvet-like feathers came from tropical honeycreepers. Red feathers mainly from the ‘i‘iwi and ‘apapane. Yellow feathers mainly from the ‘ō‘ō and mamo. Although the color red was associated with chiefs and the gods, yellow became the most prized color owing to the scarcity of the feathers. Click here for more information.

“These exhibits add a lot of depth to the already impressive art experience here at the Hawai‘i Convention Center and really builds upon an engaging narrative that honors the best of what Hawai‘i is all about including our traditions, history and heritage, and celebrating the native Hawaiian culture,” said Brad Gessner, senior vice president for AEG Facilities. “After seeing these incredible new exhibits, I’m confident even more locals and visitors alike will be drawn to explore these beautiful exhibits further when coming to HCC for meetings, conventions and events.”

In addition to its support of the arts, AEG Facilities and HCC is also partnering with the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative on the island of Hawai‘i to create the “Hawai‘i Convention Center Legacy Forest” on the slopes of Maunakea. HCC has committed to planting one million koa trees to give back to the land and help offset the carbon footprint of travelers coming to the islands for meetings and conventions.

All HCC art exhibits are free, self-guided and open to the public daily during normal business hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Media Contacts:

Nathan Kam

Anthology Marketing Group

808-741-2763 mobile

Patrick Dugan

Anthology Marketing Group

808-741-2712 mobile

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About AEG Facilities

AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Anschutz Company, is the leading sports,
entertainment and venue operator in the world. AEG Facilities, a stand-alone affiliate of AEG, owns, operates or consults with more than 100 of the industry’s preeminent venues worldwide, across five continents, providing complete venue management, as well as specialized programs in operations, guest services, ticketing, booking, sales and marketing. AEG Facilities also provides resources and access to other AEG-affiliated entities, including live event producer, AEG Live, AEG Global Partnerships, AEG Development, AEG 1Earth, AEG Encore and AEG Creative to support the success of AEG venues across the globe. The Los Angeles-based organization owns, operates or provides services to the world’s most elite venues, including STAPLES Center (Los Angeles, Calif.), StubHub Center (Carson, Calif.), Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE (Los Angeles, Calif.), Sprint Center (Kansas City, Mo.), KFC Yum! Center (Louisville, Ky.), AmericanAirlines Arena (Miami, Fla.), Prudential Center (Newark, N.J.), Target Center (Minneapolis, Minn.) and BBVA Compass Stadium (Houston, Texas). Among the roster of world class convention centers and other facilities managed by the division are the Los Angeles Convention Center, Hawai’i Convention Center (Honolulu, HI), Qatar National Convention Center, Oman Convention and Exhibition Center (Muscat, Oman), Sydney International Conception, Exhibition, and Entertainment District, Cairns Convention Center and Darwin Conventions Centre. Other venues include Oracle Arena and Coliseum (Oakland, Calif.), CONSOL Energy Center (Pittsburgh, Penn.), Rabobank Arena (Bakersfield, Calif.), MercedesBenz Arena (Shanghai, China), MasterCard Center (Beijing, China), The O2 Arena (London, England), O2 World (Berlin, Germany), O2 World Hamburg (Hamburg, Germany), Ahoy Arena (Rotterdam, Netherlands), Itaipava Arena Pernambuco (Recife, Brazil), Allianz Parque (Sao Paulo, Brazil), Allphones Arena (Sydney, Australia), Ülker Sports Arena (Istanbul, Turkey), Ericsson Globe Arena (Stockholm, Sweden) and the. For more information, please visit

Special note to media: HTA recognizes the use of the ‘okina [‘] or glottal stop, one of the eight consonants of the (modern) Hawaiian language; and the kahakō [ā] or macron (e.g., in place names of Hawai‘i such as Lāna‘i). However, HTA respects the individual use of these markings for names of organizations and businesses.

Registration for 2016 Hawai’i Tourism Conference Extended by Demand

HeaderDue to significant demand after the registration deadline, we have extended registration for the 2016 Hawai’i Tourism Conference until the start of the conference on 9/26!

Tracks include: Culture – Environment – Education – Visitor Experience – Media & Technology – Marketing – Lodging – China and Japan Business Development.

Don’t miss a full week of collaboration and networking on industry-leading vision, best practices and solutions, plus:

– An expanded global summit track with headliners including MLS star & Galaxy President Chris Klein and Clippers President Gillian Zucker in our sports marketing session; travel TV celebrities Adam Richman hosting Roy Yamaguchi and a list of culinary tourism leaders, and Don Wildman hosting session on local experiences and customized travel; founder of the International Institute for Peace through Tourism Louis D’Amore, and a list of high-profile industry executives.

– the 2016 Tourism Legacy Awards honoring Hawai’i’s Gifts to the World, this year featuring surfing

– The Village Square – An iconic centerpiece to a new collaborative format & layout, with Exhibitors, an #HTClive Social Media Studio, Tech Hub, Immersive 360 VR experiences, a Showcase of Hawai’i’s signature events & festivals, Demos & Workshops

– AM Aloha Activities and Evening ‘Ohana Time sessions at host hotels

– Live entertainment throughout the week including a special performance by Willie K on Friday.

Register for the full week at a discount or choose the days that best suit your interests. Reserve your limited spot today at

$375 full conference
$250 two days
$185 single day

Don’t forget to check out our discount hotel accommodations and inter-island airfare being offered through our partners OUTRIGGER HOTELS & RESORTS and ISLAND AIR. Details available on the website.

We look forward to seeing you in September.

Hawaiian Culture Being Showcased at the Hawai‘i Tourism Conference, Sept. 26-30


10 Sessions – the Most Ever – to Address How Hawaiian Culture is Transforming, Strengthening the Hawai‘i Experience

The Native Hawaiian culture and how its legacy continues to strengthen the experience of living in and visiting the Hawaiian Islands in modern times, will be a major point of emphasis at the 2016 Hawai‘i Tourism Conference, Sept. 26-30 (

Under the theme Transforming Tourism Together, the conference is being presented by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) and hosted at the world-class Hawai‘i Convention Center.

Kalani Ka‘anā‘anā, HTA director of Hawaiian cultural affairs, noted that in keeping with the theme’s spirit, there are 10 conference sessions – the most ever – focused on how the Native Hawaiian culture is transforming the way people experience the Hawai‘i of today (schedule below).

“Anyone who is committed to seeing the host culture of these islands thrive within the broad scope of Hawai‘i tourism will be interested in the topics being discussed,” said Ka‘anā‘anā. “The sessions will be inspirational, educational and reinforce our cultural connections to the state’s largest industry.”

Ka‘anā‘anā added that the Native Hawaiian culture is at the foundation of everything HTA does in promoting the Hawai‘i travel experience. “The cultural traditions of the Native Hawaiian people are what makes our islands such a desirable and welcoming destination to travelers worldwide.”

Altogether, the conference will feature 60 sessions covering a wide variety of topics important to the future of travel and the Hawaiian Islands. In addition to Hawaiian culture, other topics being addressed include the environment, climate change, technology, global marketing, and LGBT travel.

For more information and to register for the conference, visit Discounts are available for groups, educators and students. Optional island tours are available on the pre-conference opening day, Sept. 26.

Schedule of Hawaiian Culture Sessions

Sept. 27
Hawaiian Culture in Retail
9:45 – 11:15 a.m., Room 313
Moderator: Kalani Ka‘anā‘anā, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority
Speakers: Maile Meyer, Na Mea Hawai‘i
Kapono‘ai Molitau, Native Intelligence
Monte McComber, Royal Hawaiian Center
Description: Hear unique success stories from Native Hawaiian entrepreneurs on triumphs and challenges in the retail sector, with a focus on international consumers and the expanding marketplace

From Family Lands to Landmark Destinations
2:30 – 3:45 p.m., Room 311
Moderator: Pohai Ryan, Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association
Speakers: John Morgan, Kualoa Ranch
Lani Weigert, Hawai‘i AgriTourism
Matt Yamashita, Sons of Hālawa
Pilipo Solatorio, Sons of Hālawa
Description: The evolution of Hawai‘i’s ‘ohana farms into sustainable tourism practices is a unique legacy. Learn how to overcome challenges particular to keeping a property viable while
turning them into destination opportunities.

Museums, Monuments and Mansions: The Transformation of Hawaiian History into Destination Attractions
4:00 – 5:15 p.m., Room 312
Moderator: Kainoa Daines, O‘ahu Visitors Bureau
Speakers: Albert “Chucky Boy” Chock, Kaua‘i Museum
Mahealani Bernal, Queen Emma Summer Palace
Sunshine Chip, Hulihe‘e Palace
Description: Learn about the process and community support that set a model for transforming historic properties into Hawaiian cultural cornerstones.

Sept. 28
Sharing Mo‘olelo of Resorts
9:45 – 11:15 a.m., Room 313
Moderator: Ku‘uipo Kumukahi, Hyatt Regency of Waikiki
Speakers: Daniel Kaniela Akaka, Mauna Lani Resort
Clifford Naeole, The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua
Kahulu De Santos, Aulani, A Disney Resort
Description: The importance of embodying and honoring the Hawaiian sense of place in creating exceptional visitor experiences.

Cultural Heritage Tourism and Native Peoples
11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Room 316
Moderator: Pohai Ryan, Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association
Speakers: Edward Hall, AIANTA/BIA
Aimee D. Awonohopay, AIANTA
Maurice Manawatu, Maori Tours Kaikouru
Description: Collaborate on the growing interest in cultural heritage tourism and native communities, and how to share it with the world.

Aloha Today and Beyond
1:45 – 2:45 p.m., Room 312
Moderator: State Senator Brickwood Galuteria
Speakers: Peter Apo, OHA Trustee
John De Fries, County of Hawai‘i, Office of Economic Development
Description: This session examines the vision of Dr. George Kanahele and the role of Hawaiian culture in the tourism sector. The second portion of the session will attempt to define the
next generation of aloha by John De Fries.

Kūkākūkā: A Talk Story with Hawai‘i’s Cultural Specialists
3:00 – 3:45 p.m., Room 312
Moderator: Kainoa Daines, O‘ahu Visitors Bureau
Speakers: All Participants
Description: This session will give participants a unique opportunity to talk story and share their successes, challenges and emerging trends for cultural resources at Hawai‘i’s resorts and retail operations.

A Hawaiian Worldview: Practical Applications in Business
3:45 – 5:30 p.m., Room 312
Moderator: Doug Chang, The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach
Speakers: Debbie Nakanelua-Richards, Hawaiian Airlines
Corbett Kalama, Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
Gordon Umi Kai, Avis/Budget
Description: Explores strategies for creating systemic change in the visitor industry that promote Hawaiian values.

‘Imi Noi‘i: Hawaiian Research and Resources for Today’s Hawaiian Cultural Resource Specialist
4:45 – 5:30 p.m., Room 312
Moderator: Hi‘ilani Shibata, Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association
Speakers: Puakea Nogelmeier, Awaiaulu
DeSoto Brown, Bishop Museum
Cy Bridges, Kumu Hula
Description: Explores the essential resources of Hawaiian ‘ike, or knowledge, to access and utilize these materials.

About the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority
The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority is responsible for strategically managing the State of Hawai‘i’s marketing initiatives to support tourism. HTA’s goal is to optimize tourism’s benefits for Hawai‘i, while being
attentive to the interests of travelers, the community and visitor industry. Established in 1998 to support Hawai‘i’s leading industry and largest employer, HTA continually strives to help ensure the sustainability
of tourism’s success.

For more information about HTA, please visit Follow updates about HTA on Facebook, Twitter (@HawaiiHTA) and its YouTube Channel.

HTA Media Contacts:

Charlene Chan
Director of Communications
Hawaii Tourism Authority
(808) 973-2272 (o)
(808) 781-7733 (m)

Patrick Dugan
Senior Vice President
Anthology Marketing Group
(808) 539-3411 (o)
(808) 741-2712 (m)

Tourism Conference Focusing on Hawai‘i’s Travel Future, Sept. 26-30

2016 Hawaii Tourism Conference

2016 Hawaii Tourism Conference

Nationally recognized speakers, new marketing initiatives and new strategies to reach the global travelers of tomorrow highlight the 2016 Hawai‘i Tourism Conference, Sept. 26-30 (

Presented by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) and hosted at the world-class Hawai‘i Convention Center, the conference theme captures its focus: Transforming Tourism Together.

Although Hawai‘i is on track for a fifth consecutive year of record-setting visitor arrivals and spending, HTA President and CEO George D. Szigeti notes the conference’s primary objective is planning for Hawaii’s travel future.

“Global travel and the interests of consumers are evolving and Hawai‘i is adapting to how we reach them, especially millennials,” said Szigeti. “The tourism conference will combine the greatness of our islands, our host Hawaiian culture and natural beauty, with new strategies and insights on how to keep Hawai‘i foremost in the minds of travelers.”

An impressive roster of speakers and panelists has been secured from markets internationally and throughout the Hawaiian Islands, all to collaborate on how tourism, Hawai‘i’s most important industry, can remain vibrant and successful in 2017 and beyond.

On Sept. 27, internationally renowned photographer Steve Uzzell will present the keynote address at the opening general session.

Later that day, surfing – one of Hawai‘i’s gifts to the world – and two of its modern-day legends, Buffalo Keaulana and George Downing, will be honored at the Legacy Awards Luncheon.

The day will also feature a Global Student Debate, in which local, national and international students will compete in a public forum debate on issues faced by tourism worldwide.

On Sept. 28, Don Wildman, the popular Travel Channel host, will serve as moderator for the general session, Immerse Yourself in Culture, Live Like a Local.

Later that day, Noah Tratt, global senior vice president of Expedia, will offer his insight in the general session, Flatter Than Ever: Defining the New Global Marketplace and Relating to Change.

On Sept. 29, Wildman will moderate the general session, Customized Travel and the Optimal Customer Experience: The Choice to Vacation Exactly How You Want with the Service You Deserve. It will feature Tom Merchant, CEO of Black Tomato, and Nick Hall, CEO of Digital Tourism Think Tank.

On Sept. 30, the general session, From Farmer’s Market to Market Square: The Global Guide to Culinary Tourism, will have Adam Richman of the Food Network serving as moderator, and be highlighted by two of the nation’s most celebrated chefs, Jonathan Waxman and Roy Yamaguchi.

Also that day, the advice of Gillian Zucker, president of the Los Angeles Clippers, and Chris Klein, president of the Los Angeles Galaxy, will be showcased in the general session, Game On: Sports as a Global Marketing Platform.

The conference will conclude with a general session Aloha Farewell Luncheon featuring a special presentation about the upcoming 75th anniversary commemoration of the Dec. 7, 1941, attack at Pearl Harbor that launched the United States into World War II.

There will also be 60 concurrent sessions throughout the conference addressing a wide range of topics important to the future of travel and Hawai‘i, including culture, the environment, LGBT travel, climate change, technology, and global marketing.

New marketing campaigns will be unveiled to support Hawai‘i tourism, with travel agencies and marketing partners from around the world in attendance. HTA will unveil its new virtual reality marketing for the Hawaiian Islands, introduce the next phase of its GoHawaii mobile app, and present a sneak peek of its new GoHawai‘i website that debuts next year.

The GoHawai‘i mobile app is free and can be downloaded in the Google Play Store and Apple iTunes Store. It is offered in English, German, Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese.

To register for the conference, visit The deadline is September 15.

Discounts are available for groups, educators and students. Optional island tours are available on the pre-conference opening day, Sept. 26.

About the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority

The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority is responsible for strategically managing the State of Hawai‘i’s marketing initiatives to support tourism. HTA’s goal is to optimize tourism’s benefits for Hawai‘i, while being attentive to the interests of travelers, the community and visitor industry. Established in 1998 to support Hawai‘i’s leading industry and largest employer, HTA continually strives to help ensure the sustainability of tourism’s success.

For more information about HTA, please visit Follow updates about HTA on Facebook, Twitter (@HawaiiHTA) and its YouTube Channel.

HTA Media Contacts:

Charlene Chan

Director of Communications

Hawai‘i Tourism Authority

808-973-2272 (o)

808-781-7733 (m)

Patrick Dugan

Senior Vice President

Anthology Marketing Group

808-539-3411 (o)

808-741-2712 (m)


View Document

Aloha 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress!

Aloha and Welcome to all the delegates attending the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016!

Held once every 4 years, the IUCN World Conservation Congress brings together several thousand leaders and decision-makers from government, civil society, indigenous peoples, business, and academia, with the goal of conserving the environment and harnessing the solutions nature offers to global challenges.

IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016

IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016 at the Hawaii Convention Center

IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016 at the Hawaii Convention Center

An Awesome Month of August

Time really does fly! As we near the end of summer, our upcoming events are just heating up!

Among our notable events this month was the Japan-US International Symposium for Ocean Conservation in Hawaii held last August 22, 2016 at our Liliu Theater. Faced with various problems such as global warming, pollution, overfishing and inappropriate development of the marine environment, Akie Abe, First Lady of Japan and wife of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, along with Irene Hirano Inouye, President of the U.S.-Japan Council and wife of the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye, led the discussion of possible solutions at this symposium. It was a significant dialog that will aim to keep our oceans beautiful for generations to come.

Lastly, in keeping with the very relevant theme of conservation, the local host committee and organizers of the 2016 International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress have already begun their preparations for the upcoming Congress. We are excited to welcome an estimated 8,000 attendees from September 1 to 10, 2016 and look forward to the resolutions and recommendations regarding key conservation issues that will be discussed.

Japan-US International Symposium for Ocean Conservation in Hawaii

Our Liliu Theater 310 was the site of the Japan-US International Symposium for Ocean Conservation in Hawaii

Dinner Function in our Kamehameha Exhibit Hall

We recently held a large dinner function at our Exhibit Hall for a large Japanese corporation.


Join us for the 2016 Hawaii Tourism Conference


Position for the future,
join the conversation and collaborate with the leaders who are
Transforming Tourism Together


The global tourism industry is converging on Hawaii September 26th through 30th and you are personally invited to the 2016 Hawaii Tourism Conference. We’re breaking the mold of conferences, bringing together major stakeholders from around the world, celebrating Hawaii’s unique culture and attractions, and you simply do not want to miss this event.

Hawaii epitomizes diversity, a unique culture & lifestyle, and a continually growing tourism economy. There is no better stimulating environment for a global summit on international tourism trends, strategic alliances and emerging opportunities. The 2016 Hawaii Tourism Conference will bring together thought leaders, visionaries, suppliers, operators, policy makers and the media in an innovative format of networking and sharing. Our goal is for attendees to leave this year’s conference feeling inspired, informed and better connected across continents as key stakeholders in a rapidly evolving global travel marketplace. Together we will set a new benchmark for what a tourism conference can be and new ways to collaborate on game changing ideas and best practices. Join us and discover the unexpected!

View the full agenda and REGISTER TODAY at

See you in September!