Maui News

Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority Promotes Two Executives To Support Mālama Kuʻu Home

July 26, 2021, 4:30 PM HST
* Updated July 26, 10:54 AM
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The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) has begun its pivot to become a more effective destination management organization by promoting two key executives who will help guide the initiatives outlined in its 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, according to an HTA news release.

The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority has comprehensively reorganized its structure and operations to support the goal of Mālama Kuʻu Home (caring for my beloved home) through the principles of regenerative tourism.

“HTA is committed to empowering the community to have a greater voice in tourism’s future, with an emphasis on restoring the environment, perpetuating the Hawaiian culture, recognizing Hawaiʻi’s multiethnic cultures, and supporting responsible economic outcomes,” the news release stated.

In the restructuring of HTA, Kalani Ka‘anā‘anā has been promoted to chief brand officer and Caroline Anderson has been promoted to director of planning. Both are newly created positions instrumental to HTA’s focus on supporting four integrated pillars for the Hawaiian Islands: Natural Resources, Hawaiian Culture, Community and Brand Marketing.

“Hawaiʻi, the visitor industry, and the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority are all in a time of huliau, or transformative change, in which an accelerated shift toward destination management is necessary in order for tourism to properly support the revitalization of our communities and economy in a more meaningful and reciprocal way,” HTA President and CEO John De Fries said.

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“Our heightened focus on destination management allows us to be more nimble, able to quickly adapt to changing market conditions, and more effectively address tourism’s impacts in key areas across the state.”

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As chief brand officer, Ka‘anā‘anā is responsible for overseeing HTA’s various initiatives outlined in its 2020-2025 Strategic Plan in the areas of community empowerment, perpetuation of the Hawaiian culture, preservation of natural resources, and brand management. He joined HTA in 2016 and most recently served as its director of Hawaiian cultural affairs and natural resources.

Born and raised in Kailua on Oʻahu and fluent in ʻŌlelo Hawaii, the Hawaiian language, Ka‘anā‘anā is involved in a multitude of community activities. He is one of the 14 collaborative Native Hawaiian authors of the ʻĀina Aloha Economic Futures declaration and is an active member of the Kailua Hawaiian Civic Club and 2019 Omidyar Fellow.

His ʻohana comes from Kaaihee, Kailua, Oʻahu. An alumnus of Kailua High School, Ka‘anā‘anā graduated with distinction from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, earning Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Hawaiian Language and Hawaiian Studies.

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As director of planning, Anderson is overseeing the development and monitoring of HTA’s 2020-2025 Strategic Plan and 2021-2023 Destination Management Action Plans for each county, including program evaluation and addressing identified hotspot issues in key areas across the state.

In her previous HTA position as director of community enrichment, she managed the Community Enrichment program, which fosters community-based tourism projects that improve and enrich Hawaiʻi’s product offerings and visitor experiences, and the Workforce Development program. Since joining HTA in 2000, she has held various roles in brand management and tourism planning.

Born and raised on Oʻahu, Anderson earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa’s School of Travel Industry Management and Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning, also from the University of Hawaiʻi.

HTA has also created a new position, public affairs officer, that will focus on government relations, media communications, issue management, corporate and social responsibility, information dissemination, and strategic communications. Recruitment for this position will commence shortly.

The rest of the HTA staff have been realigned into new cross-functional teams focused on carrying out the mission of HTA.

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