Mufi Hannemann has been appointed to president and chief executive officer of the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association.
He succeeds George Szigeti, who left HLTA in May to become president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Hannemann will begin work on July 20.
“We had excellent candidates come forward wanting to lead HLTA, but the search committee felt that Mufi was the best choice considering his superb record of leadership, experience and drive in supporting tourism’s best interests,” said Kelly Hoen, chairperson of HLTA’s board of directors.
Hannemann previously served as president and CEO of HLTA from January 2011 to July 2012.
“Mufi did a stellar job in leading HLTA previously and we are thrilled to welcome him back to advance initiatives that build on our success for Hawaii’s lodging industry and its thousands of employees statewide,” Hoen said.
Under his previous leadership, HLTA supported the lodging industry’s interest on bills and measures brought before state and county lawmakers, increased its membership statewide, created stronger alliances on the neighbor islands, enhanced collaboration with non-tourism business leaders, and fostered a stronger relationship with the University of Hawaii’s School of Travel Industry Management.
“I’m overjoyed to again be leading HLTA and will work collaboratively with our tourism, government, and community leaders to resolve the challenges facing Hawaii’s visitor industry,” Hannemann said.
“I have been an unequivocal champion of tourism throughout my career in the private and public sectors. HLTA is vital in supporting the interests of lodging, tourism’s largest economic sector and employer. Our efforts and commitment will be focused on affecting the kind of meaningful change that will contribute to the betterment of Hawaii’s tourism industry and, consequently, to the state’s economy as a whole.”
Hannemann has worked for three decades as a leader in business, tourism and politics in Hawaii. His career includes serving as the mayor of the City and County of Honolulu from 2005 to 2010 and as a member of the Honolulu City Council, including council chair from 1995-2000. He also served as chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayor’s Tourism and Arts Committee, and as director of the Hawaii State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism in the Waihee administration.