HTA Publishes Community-Based Tourism Management Plan for Kaua‘i

Jan 4, 2021

The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) has published the 2021-2023 Kaua‘i Destination Management Action Plan (DMAP). It is part of HTA’s strategic vision and continuing efforts to manage tourism in a responsible and regenerative manner. Developed by the residents of Kaua‘i, and in partnership with the County of Kaua‘i and Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau, the DMAP serves as a guide to rebuild, redefine and reset the direction of tourism on the Garden Island. It identifies areas of need as well as solutions for enhancing the residents’ quality of life and improving the visitor experience. The community-based plan focuses on key actions that the community, visitor industry and other sectors deem necessary over a three-year period. The actions are organized by the four interacting pillars of HTA’s Strategic Plan – Natural Resources, Hawaiian Culture, Community and Brand Marketing:

 Respect for Natural and Cultural Resources

  • Focus policy efforts on appropriate behavior that will instill value in both visitors and residents for natural and cultural resources (mālama ‘āina).
  • Collaborate with the State of Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources to develop and implement policies to increase monitoring and enforcement efforts.

 Hawaiian Culture

  • Invest in Hawaiian cultural programs and identify funding sources that enhance the visitor experience and connect both tourism and communities.


  • Focus policies that address overtourism by managing people while on Kaua‘i.
  • Encourage low-impact green rides to improve the visitor experience, reduce island traffic, increase small business opportunities, and meet climate action goals.
  • Increase communication, engagement and outreach efforts with the community, visitor industry, and other sectors.

Brand Marketing

  • Develop educational materials for visitors and new residents to have respect for local cultural values.
  • Promote “Shop Local” to visitors and residents.
  • Support diversification of other sectors. February 5, 2021 (21-04)

 These actions were developed by the Kaua‘i steering committee, comprised of Kaua‘i residents representing the communities they live in, as well as the visitor industry, different business sectors, and nonprofit organizations. Representatives from the County of Kaua‘i, HTA, and the Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau also provided input throughout the process.

“I wish to thank the many community members and organizations that have provided input on the revival of our visitor industry and continued forward progress. I applaud the collaborative effort and dedication to create a visitor industry that cares for and supports our island home, our residents and our visitors,” said Kaua‘i County Mayor Derek Kawakami.

“This DMAP is a reflection of the love and concerns that Kauai’s people have for their home and island. As such, every idea and actionable item is intended to mālama Kaua’i – meaning to care for, to protect and to nurture. As a Hawaiian cultural value, ‘mālama’ is a verb and it requires all of us to be mindful in taking responsible action to ensure that the future of Kaua‘i is sustainable, as we collectively seek to envision and design a new model of tourism,” said John De Fries, HTA’s president and CEO.

The Kaua‘i DMAP process started in July 2020 and continued with a series of virtual steering committee meetings, as well as two virtual community meetings in October. The foundation of the Kaua‘i DMAP is based on HTA’s 2020-2025 Strategic Plan and the 2018-2021 Kaua‘i Tourism Strategic Plan.

“I’m proud of Kaua‘i County’s residents. They have worked hard through the DMAP and other plans to evaluate the frustrations voiced by our community, and amidst many differences, they keep coming back to the table to try to make things better for all involved. Mahalo to the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority for allowing our community to provide feedback and recommendations from the front line,” said Nalani Brun, director of Kaua‘i County’s Office of Economic Development.

Click here for the Kaua‘i Destination Management Action Plan.