HONOLULU -- Hawaii's new tourism structure is a major departure
from previous practice.
The Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau, which dates to
1903, must now compete for the business.
Without a bid process, the HVCB had been under contract, renewed
to the state Department of Business, Economic Development and
Tourism (DBEDT) to market Hawaii.
In this transition year,
HVCB has a one-year contract with the Hawaii Tourism Authority
that ends Dec. 31.
The new structure also includes a new way of funding tourism
marketing -- the state's hotel room tax. A law passed last year
increased the room tax from 6% to 7.25%, effective Jan. 1. Of the
tax collected, 37.9% -- between $55 million and $60 million per
year -- goes to HTA.
HVCB's budget from HTA this year is $45 million. Last year, its
state funding was $25 million, with the amount, as in previous
years, decided by the legislature.
Without a dedicated source of funding, and with the legislature
controlling the purse strings, much of HVCB's efforts were spent on
HVCB's responsibility includes both global and meetings and
convention marketing, which for 2000 is split into two
DBEDT now provides the staff for HTA.
On Jan. 1, DBEDT took over the responsibility for compiling
visitor arrival data, previously undertaken by HVCB.
HTA has 11 voting members appointed by Gov. Ben Cayetano.
They include Keith Vieira, Starwood's vice president and Hawaii
operations director; David Carey, Outrigger Hotels chief executive
officer, and Peter Schall, managing director, Hilton Hawaiian
Two members are with airlines: Gilbert Kimura, regional sales
manager, Japan Airlines, and Ron Wright, managing director, sales
and marketing, Continental.
HTA has two ex officio members, the directors of DBEDT (voting)
and the Transportation Department (nonvoting).
Diane Quitiquit, director of research and development, Hawaii
County (Big Island), is chairman.
Robert Fishman was appointed HTA chief executive officer in
He was vice president of airport services for Hawaiian Airlines
since May last year.
Before that Fishman was managing director of the City and County