HONOLULU, HI — The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the state agency for tourism, is pleased to announce that Hawaii has been chosen by Travel Weekly as the winner in the Best US State Destination category for its seventh annual Readers Choice Awards. In addition, the island of Maui was recognized within the Hawaii category as Best Destination.

“We are truly honored that Hawaii has been chosen for such a prestigious award,” said Mike McCartney, HTA’s president and chief executive officer. “A big mahalo to the Hawaii Visitors and Conventions Bureau (HVCB), its island chapters, and Hawaii’s visitor industry employees for their outstanding efforts, support, and hard work throughout the year.”

Travel Weekly is the nation’s leading information source for the travel industry, reaching more than 180,000 readers each week. Their “best of the best of the travel industry” awards are widely recognized and presented annually to industry members who have achieved excellence in product and service during the year. Nominees and award recipients were selected by Travel Weekly’s readers, a group comprised of expert travel professionals.

“This award is special in that it was voted on by Travel Weekly readers themselves,” said McCartney. “HTA will continue to work with our marketing partners and Hawaii’s visitor industry to ensure that our islands continue to be recognized as a desirable and premier travel destination.”

The Hawaii Tourism Authority was created in 1998 to ensure a successful visitor industry well into the future. Its mission is to strategically manage Hawaii tourism in a sustainable manner consistent with its economic goals, cultural values, preservation of natural resources, community desires, and visitor industry needs. For more information on the HTA and its Product Development Program, please visit www.hawaiitourismauthority.org .