Maui News

Alaska Airlines Partnership Connects Guests with Volunteer Activities in Hawaiʻi

November 8, 2021, 8:47 AM HST
* Updated November 8, 9:50 AM
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PC: Nov. 6, 2021. Photo credit Matt Kent/travel2change

Alaska Airlines and Hawaiʻi-based social and environmental impact organization, travel2change, are helping to connect guests with fun and enriching activities aimed at creating a positive benefit for communities across the Hawaiian Islands.

The new partnership, launched today at travel2change.org/alaskaair, will make it easier for travelers to find and participate in authentic educational and cultural experiences during their Hawaiʻi visit.

PC: Nov. 6, 2021. Photo credit Matt Kent/travel2change

“We deeply appreciate the Hawaiian cultural value of mālama, which means to nurture and care for,” said Diana Birkett Rakow, Alaska’s vice president, public affairs and sustainability. “Care is at the core of who we are at Alaska, and that means care for our guests, employees, communities and the planet. We’re honored to be part of the Hawaiʻi community, and as Hawaiʻi welcomes visitors back to the Islands, we’re excited to work with travel2change to inspire our guests to be mindful travelers and to help keep Hawaiʻi strong and beautiful for future generations.”

Since 2011, travel2change has curated activities to connect mindful travelers with communities. They offer opportunities to join the stewards of special places across Hawaiʻi and work side-by-side to care for native ecosystems, working fishponds and farms, and to engage each destination on a deeper level. While the experiences on travel2change.org are currently based in Hawaiʻi, activities in other destinations served by Alaska will be offered starting in 2022.

PC: Nov. 6, 2021. Photo credit Matt Kent/travel2change

“travel2change is all about an environmentally sustainable give-back model centered on fun and impact—cultivating mutually-beneficial, reciprocal relationships between the local community and guests,” said Mondy Jamshidi Kent of travel2change. “Alaska shares our vision to innovate for a more sustainable world. Support for more regenerative connections through community-centered values and honoring place-based initiatives is part of how we get there. We are thrilled that this partnership will both introduce travel2change experiences to Alaska’s guests and provide a direct way for much-needed support to be received by many community groups throughout Hawaiʻi. Together we look forward to boosting support for community-driven sustainable choices that produce a net-positive impact for each destination.”

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In September, Alaska supported a joint effort by travel2change, the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association and the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority to help Hawaiʻi nonprofit organizations build capacity to host volunteer experiences on travel2change.org. This effort to grow opportunities for visitors to participate positively in the community and give back to Hawaiʻi during their stay has been a key focus of the HTA’s Mālama Hawaiʻi initiative.

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“As we seek a more regenerative model of tourism that balances economics with the wellbeing of our communities and natural resources, partnerships like this are critical to build community capacity to welcome the direct contributions of visitors,” said John De Fries, Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority President and CEO. “Mahalo to Alaska for stepping up to support this effort as we Mālama Kuʻu Home – care for our beloved home.”

To celebrate the launch, Alaska employees joined volunteers from travel2change to help restore agricultural lands at Kāko‘o ‘Ōiwi, a community-based non-profit on the island of Oʻahu and one of travel2change’s partner organizations. The volunteer project was also a part of Alaska’s annual community service mission known as the Week of LIFT—a focused effort to give back through volunteering in several cities across Alaska’s network.

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