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Hawaii Tourism Authority meets before key conference by lawmakers

Lawmakers head to conference Friday on two bills that provide a last chance for the Hawaii Tourism Authority and the Hawai’i Convention Center to get funded this session after their operational budgets were left out of the final version of a state budget bill earlier this week.

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Native Hawaiian protocol is observed prior to the start of an HTA meeting on Thursday in Waikiki. Lawmakers passed a budget with $64 million for the Hawaii Convention Center on Tuesday but no funds for Hawaii Tourism Authority.
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2023 April 27 CTY - Honolulu Star-Advertiser photo by Jamm Aquino/jaquino@staradvertiser.com Hawaii Tourism Authority president and CEO John De Fries, right, speaks during an HTA meeting on Thursday, April 27, 2023, in Waikiki. Also pictured is HTA board chairman George Kam. Lawmakers passed a budget with $64 million for the Hawaii Convention Center on Tuesday but no funds for Hawaii Tourism Authority . That means the stakes just got higher for the for HTA which will now have to be funded within two bills, which currently repeal the circa 1998 agency.
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Hawaii Tourism Authority president and CEO John De Fries, third from right, speaks during an HTA meeting on Thursday.
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Hawaii Tourism Authority president and CEO John De Fries, second from right, speaks during an HTA meeting on Thursday.
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DBEDT director Chris Sadayasu speaks during an HTA meeting on Thursday.
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An episode of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “Spotlight Hawaii” is viewed during an HTA meeting on Thursday.
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Hawaii Tourism Authority president and CEO John De Fries, right, walks around the table during an HTA meeting on Thursday. Also pictured is HTA board chairman George Kam.
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Kalani Ka’ana’ana speak during an HTA meeting on Thursday.

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