HONOLULU, Hawaii – The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) is bringing a fresh approach to the annual Hawaii Tourism Conference, September 26-30, by expanding it to a weeklong event with a focus on a more interactive format that fosters engagement amongst attendees.
Hosted at the world-class Hawaii Convention Center, the conference theme is “Transforming Tourism Together.”
HTA is bringing together leaders, visionaries, suppliers, operators, and policy makers in an innovative format of networking, sharing of best practices and discussion on topics ranging from cultural preservation, sustainability, the environment and education to enhancing the visitor experience. Technology will also be a common theme during the conference.
“Our goal is for participants to walk away feeling energized, informed and better networked as stakeholders of tourism who will take action in this ever-changing global marketplace,” said George D. Szigeti, HTA president and CEO.
“Our new format will foster thoughtful collaboration between a diverse group of professionals from industries tied to tourism. Hawaii is the ideal place to host this summit on international trends, strategic alliances and emerging opportunities.”
This year’s new multi-track schedule will allow attendees to customize their experience by participating in pre-conference tours of the neighbor islands, and selecting sessions, workshops and panels most relevant to their interests.
A custom Hawaii Tourism Conference app will be available with personalized scheduling, live audience polling and features enabling attendees to connect for networking.
Szigeti added, “We’re moving away from having lots of ‘talking heads’ on panels and instead are offering moderated interactive sessions that encourages the audience to collaborate on topics important to their businesses.”
The conference centerpiece will be the Village Square, a high-profile area where participants will congregate daily, encouraging collaboration and an opportunity to showcase products and services.
A conference highlight will be the Tourism Legacy Awards on Sept. 27, honoring those making significant contributions to perpetuating Hawaiian culture. Surfing is the focus of this year’s awardees.