The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) is bringing a fresh approach to the annual Hawaii Tourism Conference, Sept. 26-30, by expanding it to a weeklong event with a focus on a more interactive format that fosters engagement amongst attendees.

Hosted at the world-class Hawaii Convention Center, the theme for this year’s conference is “Transforming Tourism Together.”

HTA is bringing together leaders, visionaries, suppliers, operators, and policy makers in an innovative format of networking, sharing of best practices and discussion on topics ranging from cultural preservation, sustainability, the environment and education to enhancing the visitor experience. Technology will also be a common theme during the conference schedule.

“Our goal is for participants to walk away feeling energized, informed and better networked as stakeholders of tourism who will take action in this ever-changing global marketplace,” said George D. Szigeti, HTA president and CEO.

“Our new format will foster thoughtful collaboration between a diverse group of professionals from industries tied to tourism. Hawaii is the ideal place to host this summit on international trends, strategic alliances and emerging opportunities.”

This year’s new multi-track schedule will allow attendees to customize their conference experience by participating in pre-conference learning tours of the neighbor islands, and selecting the sessions, workshops and panels most relevant to their interests.

To help everyone stay connected, a custom Hawaii Tourism Conference app will be available with personalized scheduling, live audience polling and features that enable attendees to connect for one-on-one networking opportunities.

Szigeti added, “We’re moving away from having lots of ‘talking heads’ on panels and instead are offering moderated interactive sessions that encourages the audience to collaborate on topics important to their businesses.”

The centerpiece of the conference will be the Village Square, a high-profile common area where participants will congregate each day, encouraging collaboration and providing businesses with an opportunity to showcase their products and services in a highly visible setting.

A special highlight of the conference program will be the Tourism Legacy Awards, which will honor businesses and individuals making significant contributions to perpetuating the Hawaiian culture at a luncheon on Tuesday, Sept. 27. Surfing is the focus of this year’s awardees.

Looking ahead to next year, HTA’s Global Marketing Team for Hawaii representing the United States, Canada, Oceania, Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, Europe and Meet Hawaii will share their marketing plans for 2017.

For information on attending the Hawaii Tourism Conference, visit

About the Hawaii Tourism Authority

The Hawaii Tourism Authority is responsible for strategically managing the State of Hawaii’s marketing initiatives to support tourism. HTA’s goal is to optimize tourism’s benefits for Hawaii, while being attentive to the interests of travelers, the community and visitor industry. Established in 1998 to support Hawaii’s leading industry and largest employer, HTA continually strives to help ensure the sustainability of tourism’s success.

For more information about HTA, please visit or follow updates on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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HTA Media Contacts:

Charlene Chan 
Director of Communications
Hawaii Tourism Authority
(808) 973-2272 (o)
(808) 781-7733 (m)

Patrick Dugan
Senior Vice President
Anthology Marketing Group
(808) 539-3411 (o)
(808) 741-2712 (m)