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Tuesday, February 14, 2023
HTA Splits RFP for US: Marketing vs 'Stewardship'
By News Release @ 2:41 PM :: 1780 Views :: Ethics, Tourism

Hawai'i Tourism Authority Issues RFPs for Destination Stewardship, Visitor Education, and U.S. Brand Management & Marketing

News Release from Hawai‘i Tourism Authority Feb 14, 2023

HONOLULU, Feb. 14, 2023  -- The Hawai'i Tourism Authority (HTA), the state agency responsible for holistically managing tourism and The Hawaiian Islands brand, has released two Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to procure brand management and marketing services for the United States, as well as support services for destination stewardship, reflecting HTA's pivot toward destination management in pursuit of a regenerative model of tourism.

(Translation: Marketing is for HCVB and 'Stewardship' is for CNHA.)

RFP 23-03: Hawaiʻi Tourism Destination Brand Management & Marketing Services for the U.S. Market

The focus of RFP 23-03 is brand management and marketing in the United States, Hawai'i's largest visitor source market. The solicitation calls for a pre-arrival communications program to educate visitors with specific information about safe, respectful, and mindful travel that will be coordinated with HTA's on-island programs to provide a seamless message throughout the entire visitor journey.

Another key emphasis of the marketing will be to drive visitor spending into Hawai'i-based businesses as a means to support a healthy economy, including supporting local businesses, purchasing Hawaiʻi-grown agricultural products, and promoting Hawai'i-made products in-market in partnership with HTA, the state's Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT), and the private sector.

This brand marketing will be targeted to mindful travelers with an emphasis on lifetime trip expenditures and increasing per person, per day expenditures in alignment with the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) established in HTA's 2020 - 2025 Strategic Plan: increased average daily visitor spending, increased total visitor spending, increased visitor satisfaction, and increased resident sentiment toward tourism.

Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to register and participate in HTA's pre-proposal conference via Zoom to be briefed on the procurement process and to ask questions. The pre-proposal conference will be held at 8:00 A.M. HST on February 21. Registration details are in the RFP document.

Interested applicants must register their intent to submit proposals by 4:30 P.M. HST on March 1. Proposals are due to HTA by 2:00 P.M. HST on March 30.

The U.S. Brand Management & Marketing contract will commence on June 1, 2023, offering a transition period from the current contract, and will end on December 31, 2025. The existing contract for this work is expected to end on June 30, 2023, subject to contract extension approval from the State Procurement Office.

RFP 23-08: Support Services for Destination Stewardship

RFP 23-08: Support Services for Destination Stewardship covers a suite of services to assist HTA in destination management, heeding the call of the community. The support services include:

  • Post-Arrival Visitor Education communications reinforcing to visitors the importance of being a responsible, mindful visitor in the Hawaiian Islands.
  • Aloha ʻĀina, Kūkulu Ola, Community Enrichment, and Signature Event programs to provide funding support toward efforts in Hawaiian culture perpetuation, natural resource stewardship, and community events and initiatives.
  • Technical Assistance and Capacity Building for organizations and businesses advancing goals of HTA's Destination Management Action Plans through stewardship activities and the development of visitor experiences that advance the regenerative tourism model, including agritourism or cultural tourism.
  • Development of a Quality Assurance Program to set high standards for customer experience and environmental stewardship in accomodations, activities, services, and transportation to ensure visitor satisfaction.
  • A Tour Guide Certification Program to educate and accredit tour guides in Hawaiʻi's culture and history, customer service, and safety.
  • The Resort Area Hawaiian Culture Initiative to provide culturally-appropriate greetings and entertainment in resort areas.
  • Smart Tourism projects that will seek technology-enabled solutions to manage tourism, including hotspot management.

Work performance will be measured against the KPIs established in HTA's 2020 - 2025 Strategic Plan with an emphasis on strengthening resident sentiment as well as the community-led Destination Management Action Plans.

Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to register and participate in HTA's pre-proposal conference via Zoom to be briefed on the procurement process and to ask questions. The pre-proposal conference will be held on February 21, 3:00 P.M. HST on Zoom. Registration details are in the RFP document.

Interested applicants must register their intent to submit proposals by March 7, 4:30 P.M. Proposals are due to HTA by 2:00 P.M. HST on March 28.

The Destination Stewardship support services contract will begin on May 22, 2023, and will end on June 30, 2026, with HTA having two one-year options to extend the agreement.

HTA's Board of Directors unanimously voted during its December 22, 2022 board meeting for HTA to issue two new RFPs for services following the December 5 cancellation of RFP 22-01 by former Director and Head of the Purchasing Agency for DBEDT Mike McCartney.

The RFPs and associated attachments are posted on the Hawaiʻi State eProcurement System (HIePRO) at and HTA's website at Inquiries regarding the RFPs should be directed to

About the Hawai'i Tourism Authority

The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority is the state agency responsible for representing The Hawaiian Islands around the world, and for holistically managing tourism in a sustainable manner consistent with community desires, economic goals, cultural values, preservation of natural resources, and visitor industry needs. HTA works with the community and industry to Mālama Kuʻu Home – care for our beloved home. For more information about HTA, visit or follow @HawaiiHTA on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.


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