30% Savings on Southwest Hawaii Flights with Coupon Code

Are You One Of These Visitors That Hawaii Wants?

Hawaii has just awarded a new two-year agreement to help attract far-less-likely to visit tourists to the islands. The contract is the first of its type in more than three years.

This is tell-tale, however, in its wording, which coincides with other messaging emanating from the Hawaii Tourism Authority, in this case related to the return of Maui travel.

The agency is planing for a Maui travel recovery plan for “mindful visitors.”

More details on that will follow, but for now, the agency has tipped its hand in inviting “mindful” visitors back to the Valley Isle.

Hawaii also now seeks “mindful and respectful” European visitors.

Using the same verbiage, Hawaii is reaching out to Europe, where perhaps more “mindful” tourists can be found. A new entity entitled Hawaii Tourism Europe will be a venture by HTA empowered by the private company Emotive Travel Marketing.

HTA is eager to rejuvenate our longstanding relationships in Europe and support this strengthening visitor source market to help drive economic recovery for Hawaii.

Daniel Nāho‘opi‘i, HTA.

HTA said in its press release (attached below) that “Strategic efforts will educate European visitors about traveling mindfully and respectfully while supporting Hawaii’s communities and economy. Focus will also be placed on driving visitor spending…”

HTA reaffirms Hawaii’s tourism direction.

The brand marketing will be targeted to mindful travelers with an emphasis on lifetime trip expenditures and increasing per person, per day expenditures.” — HTA

HTA said that European visitors contributed $268M to Hawaii’s economy in 2019. That is small, however, in relation to overall visitor spending in Hawaii, which was $1.91 B in 2019 and $2.18 B in 2022.

The new Hawaii tourism buzzword is “mindful.”

Not sure why, but we find the term questionable. Certainly, we expect to behave appropriately whether we are traveling within Hawaii, on the US Mainland, in Europe, or anywhere. But what exactly are we expecting of Hawaii visitors? Heading to the dictionary, here’s what we found:

Oxford defines mindful as “conscious or aware of something. Focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, especially as part of a therapeutic or meditative technique. Inclined or willing to do something.”

Cambridge says, “Careful not to forget about something; deliberately aware of your body, mind, and feelings.” And Merriam-Webster says, “The meaning of MINDFUL is bearing in mind : aware.”

How does HTA make its decisions?

The long-trouble agency, which the Hawaii legislature has been on the verge of axing, said it makes its decisions based on its “leadership team and Hawaii industry partners.” That, in addition to data results from what it calls its “Tourism Economics Marketing Allocation Platform.

The European contract will be for 24 months starting next January, with options for another three years. HTA said, however, that “contract terms, conditions, and amounts are subject to final negotiations with HTA and the availability of funds. We are entirely unclear on what that could mean or whether the contract will even come to fruition. And so goes HTA.

Long-troubled Hawaii marketing.

HTA remains widely criticized over a variety of issues. Earlier this year it was moments away from being abolished entirely, and that still remains a distinct possibility. One legislative bill earlier this year said:

“The legislature finds that it is necessary and appropriate to dissolve the Hawaii tourism authority.”


Issues with the HTA have included the inability to retain quality leadership, significant ongoing questions over its multiple-times failed award of US marketing agreements, and failure to navigate between rampant tourism and regaining resident satisfaction with tourism, among a list of other things.


Our feeling is that HTA uses “mindful” to mean high-spending visitors.

First, if that’s the case, they might perhaps use more appropriate language to state their desire. Clearly the governor has gone on record previously saying he seeks to reduce low-spending tourism.

What’s your take?

Leave a Comment

Comment policy:
* No profanity, rudeness, personal attacks, or bullying.
* Hawaii focused only. General comments won't be published.
* No links or UPPER CASE text. English please.
* No duplicate posts or using multiple names.
* Use a real first name, last initial.
* Comments edited/published/responded to at our discretion.
* Beat of Hawaii has no relationship with our commentors.
* 750 character limit.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

53 thoughts on “Are You One Of These Visitors That Hawaii Wants?”

  1. “The brand marketing will be targeted to mindful travelers with an emphasis on lifetime trip expenditures and increasing per person, per day expenditures.”

    It seems that some lawmakers in Hawai’i prefer that only billionaires visit the island, and how sad is that?

  2. I always believed that being a “mindful” tourist in Hawaii meant not venturing off marked hiking trails, not trespassing on private property, not disturbing wildlife, taking only photos, and leaving only footprints. If spending more money per day is the new definition of “mindful”, then just realize that travelling to Hawaii is already one of the most expensive travel options for the average Canadian traveler. After flight, hotel, car rental, and currency exchange, there isn’t a lot of money left to order up the Surf N’ Turf. The suggestion that Hawaii prefers travelers with deeper pockets seems like the wrong message from a tourism board.

  3. I just returned from taking/introducing my 18 year old Granddaughter to the Islands. In reference to the article about being mindful-She learned the term “mindful” of those cleaning the airport toilet, housekeeping at the hotel. Saying Thank You and a tip is respectful from the area of the Southern Mainland where we reside. Shame on those that do not have the same respect, European or otherwise.

  4. I’ve lived on Oahu for over 12 years now and am very familiar with the handwringing over our state’s near-total dependence on tourism. Telling tourists to be “mindful” is patronizing and offensive, especially when that same message doesn’t get delivered to locals who vandalize public restrooms, kill Hawaiian monk seals, and break into vehicles to steal. But, even more to the point, is that messaging at all helpful? Do tourists actually improve their behavior after being told to be “mindful”? My guess is no.


Scroll to Top