HTA Seeks Partner for Destination Stewardship & Visitor Education

Feb 13, 2023

The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA), the state agency responsible for holistically managing tourism and The Hawaiian Islands brand, has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) to procure support services for destination stewardship, reflecting HTA’s pivot toward destination management in pursuit of a regenerative model of tourism.

RFP 23-08: Support Services for Destination Stewardship covers a suite of services to assist HTA in destination management, heeding the call of the community. The support services include:

  • Post-Arrival Visitor Education communications reinforcing to visitors the importance of being a responsible, mindful visitor in the Hawaiian Islands.
  • Aloha ʻĀina, Kūkulu Ola, Community Enrichment, and Signature Event programs to provide funding support toward efforts in Hawaiian culture perpetuation, natural resource stewardship, and community events and initiatives.
  • Technical Assistance and Capacity Building for organizations and businesses advancing goals of HTA’s Destination Management Action Plans through stewardship activities and the development of visitor experiences that advance the regenerative tourism model, including agritourism or cultural tourism.
  • Development of a Quality Assurance Program to set high standards for customer experience and environmental stewardship in accomodations, activities, services, and transportation to ensure visitor satisfaction.
  • A Tour Guide Certification Program to educate and accredit tour guides in Hawaiʻi’s culture and history, customer service, and safety.
  • The Resort Area Hawaiian Culture Initiative to provide culturally-appropriate greetings and entertainment in resort areas.
  • Smart Tourism projects that will seek technology-enabled solutions to manage tourism, including hotspot management.

Work performance will be measured against the KPIs established in HTA’s 2020 - 2025 Strategic Plan with an emphasis on strengthening resident sentiment as well as the community-led Destination Management Action Plans.

Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to register and participate in HTA’s pre-proposal conference via Zoom to be briefed on the procurement process and to ask questions. The pre-proposal conference will be held on February 21, 3:00 P.M. HST on Zoom. Registration details are in the RFP document.

Interested applicants must register their intent to submit proposals by March 7, 4:30 P.M. Proposals are due to HTA by 2:00 P.M. HST on March 28.

The Destination Stewardship support services contract will begin on May 22, 2023, and will end on June 30, 2026, with HTA having two one-year options to extend the agreement.

In addition to the RFP for destination stewardship, HTA also issued RFP 23-03: Hawaiʻi Tourism Destination Brand Management & Marketing Services for the U.S. Market, Hawaiʻi’s largest visitor source market. The solicitation calls for a pre-arrival communications program to educate visitors with specific information about safe, respectful, and mindful travel that will be coordinated with HTA’s on-island programs to provide a seamless message throughout the entire visitor journey.

HTA’s Board of Directors unanimously voted during its December 22, 2022 board meeting for HTA to issue two new RFPs for services following the December 5 cancellation of RFP 22-01 by former Director and Head of the Purchasing Agency for DBEDT Mike McCartney.

The RFPs and associated attachments are posted on the Hawaiʻi State eProcurement System (HIePRO) at hiepro.ehawaii.govand HTA’s website at Inquiries regarding the RFPs should be directed to [email protected].