HONOLULU – Every destination has its own set of unwritten rules regarding cultural etiquette. Hawai‘i is no different. Sharing the do’s and don’ts with visitors for their time in the Hawaiian Islands is the goal of a visitor campaign launched through a partnership between the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) and the Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB).

It’s called the Kuleana Campaign. Kuleana means responsibility and it’s the personal and collective commitment to the people of Hawai‘i and the place we call home.

The campaign includes 15-, 30- and 60-second videos that are aimed at curbing some of the challenges each county is facing. Videos were created for O‘ahu, Maui County, Kaua‘i, and Hawai‘i Island. Topics include ocean safety, ocean conservation, culture, land safety, astute renting, and pono tourism.

“Many travelers visiting the Hawaiian Islands don’t necessarily understand why we stay on the trail when we hike, why we care about protecting our reefs, and many of the dangers they need to be mindful of,” said Jay Talwar, HVCB’s chief marketing officer. “Rather than scold them, we felt that if our residents shared the ‘whys’ behind appropriate behavior then most visitors would follow along; in other words, if we don’t show them the trail, how can we expect them to stay on it? That’s what our new Kuleana Campaign aims to do.”

Some of the messages include: swim, surf and snorkel only when a lifeguard is on duty and be aware of ocean conditions before entering the water. Be mindful of the impact plastics and sunscreens have on Hawai‘i’s coral reefs. Research legal vacation rentals thoroughly online before booking to avoid scams. And respect nature by taking only photos as mementos and leaving only the smallest of footprints behind.

The videos feature 15 Hawai‘i residents. They are:

  • On O‘ahu, Marques Marzan, cultural advisor; Ocean Ramsey, ocean conservationist; and Ulalia Woodside, nature conservationist.
  • On Maui, Lauren Blickley, marine biologist; Malika Dudley, resident and journalist; Kainoa Horcajo, cultural educator; Archie Kalepa, master waterman; and Zane Schweitzer, world champion waterman.
  • On Hawai‘i Island, Iko Balanga, water safety expert; Jason Cohn, trail safety expert; Soni Pomaski, local business owner; and Earl Regidor, cultural advisor.
  • On Kaua‘i, Sabra Kauka, cultural practitioner; Kawika Smith, land safety expert; and Kalani Vierra, ocean safety expert.

Several airlines including Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Hawaiian Airlines and Southwest Airlines are showing these videos to passengers before they arrive in the islands. Some hotels across the state are also showing the “Kuleana” videos in their rooms. HTA and HVCB are working to expand the reach of these videos to more airlines and hotels. The videos have also been translated into Japanese, Chinese and Korean.

In addition, when visitors log in to their Facebook and Instagram accounts, they will see the “Kuleana” videos pop up on their feeds while they’re in Hawai‘i, thanks to geo-targeting technology.

Tourism dollars through the Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT) are being used to pay for the creation and distribution of the videos.

The Kuleana Campaign is one part of a multi-pronged approach to share the beauty of the culture of Hawai‘i while educating visitors on how to travel respectfully while visiting.



Hawai‘i Travel Tips: Culture, https://youtu.be/pkyLrXz-RkA

Hawai‘i Travel Tips: Land Safety, https://youtu.be/WWnJuk7TJpg

Hawai‘i Travel Tips: Ocean Conservation, https://youtu.be/GpA5vik22EE

Hawai‘i Travel Tips: Ocean Safety, https://youtu.be/JWBb0wClbDg



Kaua‘i Travel Tips: Culture, https://youtu.be/U28HqfAUgXA

Kaua‘i Travel Tips: Land Safety, https://youtu.be/f6quQU5AtjM

Kaua‘i Travel Tips: Ocean Safety, https://youtu.be/bj3mV3-1bnA

Kaua‘i Travel Tips: Travel Pono, https://youtu.be/hzuQRtWinsQ



O‘ahu Travel Tips: Culture, https://youtu.be/6_WAa-CvaEw

O‘ahu Travel Tips: Land Safety and Conservation, https://youtu.be/PH-auh-4hPs

O‘ahu Travel Tips: Ocean Conservation, https://youtu.be/jlRnwekgcIc

O‘ahu Travel Tips: Ocean Safety, https://youtu.be/KkMJl3w-oNM



Maui Travel Tips: Astute Renting, https://youtu.be/Gr9qNC0MzYg

Maui Travel Tips: Culture, https://youtu.be/g-E-YsNZJuY

Maui Travel Tips: Ocean Conservation, https://youtu.be/5_AKQS1WFxM

Maui Travel Tips: Ocean Safety, https://youtu.be/rRJVx4Uzkx0


Hawai‘i Island

Island of Hawai‘i Travel Tips: Culture, https://youtu.be/zIvru33NBFg

Island of Hawai‘i Travel Tips: Land Safety, https://youtu.be/vBPfXz-ODLU

Island of Hawai‘i Travel Tips: Ocean Safety, https://youtu.be/DU80f5SsFZg

Island of Hawai‘i Travel Tips: Travel Pono, https://youtu.be/QXT9bkkfefU


About the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority

The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority is the State of Hawai‘i agency responsible for strategically managing its support of the tourism industry. Established in 1998 to support Hawai‘i’s leading industry and largest employer, HTA continually strives to help ensure tourism’s sustainability and the benefits it brings to residents and communities statewide. For more information about HTA, please visit www.hawaiitourismauthority.org.