Hawaii Tourism Association forms executive committee


POSTED: Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Several Hawaii tourism industry heavy hitters will serve on the executive committee for the recently formed Hawaii Tourism Association (HiTA), a visitor industry organization which seeks to supplement the efforts of the state's Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Formed late last year by Juergen Thomas Steinmetz, publisher of Oahu-based eTurboNews, HiTA seeks to address perceived antiquities in the state's marketing strategies and plans, Steinmetz said.

HiTA plans to educate and update the global travel industry on current and emerging trends, economics, events, activities, services, businesses, and marketing opportunities. Unlike the similarly named Hawaii Tourism Authority, HiTA does not manage state visitor industry resources or set state policy.

“;These are two, distinct organizations with complementary agendas,”; Steinmetz said.

Steinmetz will be joined on the executive committee by Frank Haas, principal of consulting firm Marketing Management; Denise Moreland, president of Hawaii's Cultural Connection; and Scott Foster, principal of Scott Foster & Associates. The committee will guide the association through startup and help determine its future direction and activities.

“;We are off to a great start,”; said Steinmetz. “;The response to our initial international survey garnered overwhelming response and served as an initiative to launch this association.”;

Steinmetz said HiTA has received its first monetary contribution and that the funds are being used to help construct a Web portal and provide the organization with a presence at the International Tourism Exchange, the world's largest travel trade show in Berlin.

HiTA also has scheduled a presentation to German SKAL clubs, a global association of travel industry chief executives and managers with chapters worldwide including Hawaii. And, the new industry group will host a phone conference with Hawaii's travel trade partners in Singapore.