A Hawaiian cultural education conference designed for hospitality professionals

Hawaii’s culture is a big reason for why visitors come to our state. That’s why the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association (NaHHA) is putting on a conference for visitor industry workers to bridge the gap between culture and tourism.


“NaHHA wanted to educate attendees on various topics from Hawaiian language, customs, sacred sites, and most importantly how they can learn to host with aloha and take pride in the culture so that we may share with visitors the true spirit of Hawaii,” says Pohai Ryan, executive director of NaHHA.


Ryan promises the topics presented will further educate attendees on the importance of hosting with aloha and ho`okipa, and how that will translate to visitors respecting our cultural sites, norms, history and language. Topics include:

– Kuleana: Hawaiians & Visitor Engagement

– Festivals: Economic Driver for Community Tourism

– Remembering Hawaii’s Future (Keynote Speech)

– Transforming Cultural Sites into a Viable Destination

– Discussion on the Ali`i Residences

– Living Aloha


Ryan says the speakers are thought leaders working in the Native Hawaiian community or the visitor industry, speaking on topics such as meeting visitor expectations of Hawaiian experiences, as well as about culture, community and commerce. “We will also have a case study about Waimea Valley and how it improved business by focusing more on the cultural uniqueness of the park,” she expands.


The conference is planned a day ahead of the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s annual Tourism Conference.  The two conferences are indeed related, Ryan says, because HTA is the main sponsor for Kipa Aloha.


“HTA is a big supporter and we planned our one-day conference the day before its event, to capture their attendees and offer a cultural component to the already great format HTA has planned for its tourism conference. We believe culture and tourism go hand in hand, especially in Hawaii. The timing for both conferences really offers a unique opportunity for education and development for our hospitality industry,” says Ryan.


It’s August 26 at the Hawaii Convention Center. Tickets are $65 and include continental breakfast and lunch. For more info or to register call (808) 628-6374 or visit nahha.com

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