Beyond its beautiful beaches, breathtaking scenery and iconic surf culture, the Hawaiian Islands offer meetings and incentive groups unique opportunities to connect with Hawaii’s sense of place and experience the stories of its indigenous Hawaiian culture. Whether learning the art of pounding kalo (taro) into poi, participating in an outrigger canoe paddling adventure, or simply taking in the scent of fresh flora while attending a lei-making class, only in Hawaii will your group find authentic and engaging experiences demonstrating the Islands’ famed Aloha Spirit while simultaneously connecting you to its history.
- Hawaii is likely the only place you’ll find out-of-the-box team-building exercises like these. Hawaii offers the perfect environment to meet outdoors and engage with nature. From ocean skills practiced by the earliest Hawaiians, such as outrigger canoe paddling (Kona Boys, island of Hawaii) and throw-net fishing (Travaasa Hana, Maui) to immersive cultural experiences like harvesting kalo from a loi (irrigated agricultural terrace) (Haraguchi Rice Mill, Kauai) or helping restore a centuries-old loko ia (fishpond) built by early Hawaiians (Paepae O Heeia, Oahu), participation in these and similar cultural activities foster creative thinking and establish a deeper connection to the Islands’ people and the place.
- Share memories of Hawaii and its renowned Aloha Spirit by learning the art of lei making. Lei, a garland most-often crafted with flowers and other flora, shells or feathers, are offered in Hawaii as an expression of affection and hookipa (hospitality). Commemorate your group’s adventures and experiences in Hawaii by inviting members to participate in a lei- making class enabling them to perpetuate the Hawaiian culture after leaving the Islands.
- Experience the art of dancing hula and understand the discipline and dedication required of those who practice it. Many of the songs and chants used in hula are reflective of pieces of Hawaii’s history. Together, they serve as a means of paying homage to Hawaii’s ancestors and communicating their stories. The beauty of the dance resides in its ability to appear simple and effortless, without drawing attention to the years of dedication, practice and emotion its practitioners pour into each movement. While in Hawaii, encourage your group to participate in an authentic hula lesson to experience the difficulty and discipline required of each dancer in a halau hula (hula group) to move together as one.
- Tour the iconic attractions recounting Hawaii’s history. From Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the island of Hawaii and Limahuli, McBryde and Allerton Gardens on the island of Kauai, to Kalaupapa National Historical Park on Molokai and Iolani Palace on Oahu, groups are encouraged to spend time exploring these and other historically-rich attractions to learn more about the people and events that shaped Hawaii’s history.
At Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, guests are encouraged to hike the park’s lava tubes, explore its rainforests and volcanic craters, and even witness the rare wonder of lava flowing into the Pacific Ocean. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park communicates the stories of the Hawaiian fire goddess Pele and her importance to the Hawaiian culture and life in the Islands.
The nonprofit National Tropical Botanical Gardens’ three oases of nature on the island of Kauai – Limahuli, Allerton and McBryde Gardens – enable visitors to learn about myriad plants native to Hawaii and Earth’s tropics, and the significance of endemic flora to the Islands’ history.
Located on a breathtakingly scenic north Molokai peninsula, Kalaupapa National Historical Park marks a settlement utilized for more than a century to isolate Hawaii residents suffering from Hansen’s Disease. Established in 1866, Kalaupapa remains one of the most remote settlements in the Islands, rich with the compelling stories of the banished Hawaii residents who once lived there, and now canonized Catholic priest Father Damien and nun Mother Marianne Cope who tended to them.
The residence of Hawaii’s monarchy following its 1879 completion, Iolani Palace is a marvel of opulence, innovation and political intrigue. Showcasing a time when their Majesties King Kalakaua and his sister and successor Queen Liliuokalani walked Iolani Palace’s celebrated halls, visitors still feel the presence of royalty as they tour each room and hear stories of the palace’s royal residents and their many visitors from around the world.
As hosts to a variety of unique cultural attractions and one-of-a-kind experiences, the islands of Hawaii offer many amazing ways to craft a rewarding itinerary filled with cultural experiences without having to lose the conveniences of traveling within the U.S. For additional information or ideas on how to plan your next visit, please visit www.meethawaii.com.
About Meet Hawai‘i
Meet Hawai‘i is a collaboration of Hawai‘i Tourism United States (HTUSA), managed by the Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) and Hawai‘i Convention Center (HCC) to reinforce the brand of the Hawaiian Islands as a world-class destination for business meetings, conventions, and incentive programs. The marketing efforts of the Meet Hawai‘i team are overseen by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA), the state of Hawai‘i’s tourism agency. HTA was established in 1998 to ensure a successful visitor industry well into the future. Its mission is to strategically manage Hawai‘i tourism in a sustainable manner consistent with the state of Hawai‘i’s economic goals, cultural values, preservation of natural resources, community desires, and visitor industry needs. For information about Meet Hawai‘i and the hosting of meetings, conventions and incentives, please visit MeetHawaii.com.
Anthology Marketing Group