POSTED: 1:52 p.m. HST, Jan 6, 2014
The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the state's tourism agency, has awarded 2014 grants to 138 statewide organizations that enrich tourism through culture, natural resources and county specific events across the isles.
The awards cover three HTA product enrichment programs, including the County Enrichment Program, the Living Hawaiian Culture Program and the Natural Resources Community-Based Program.
Established by the Hawaii State Legislature in 1998, HTA works to direct Hawaii tourism in a manner that is consistent with the community's economic goals, cultural values, preservation of natural resources, community desires and visitor industry needs.
"Our Product Enrichment Programs provide us with the unique opportunity to support community events and programs that our residents are able to enjoy, while also drawing visitors to experience our host and multi-cultures and vast natural resources," said Mike McCartney, HTA president and CEO. "Through our collective efforts with the four counties and the Hawaii Community Foundation, we are able to provide unique experiences that highlight our greatest assets - our people, place and culture."
The grants support events and initiatives like Duke's Ocean Fest, Waikiki Spam Jam, Hawaii State Farm Fair, Kaneohe Bay Reef Restoration Project and the Waikiki Improvement Association's Torch Lighting.