The O‘ahu Visitors Bureau (OVB) has appointed Catherine Orlans as destination manager. A new position funded by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA), as destination manager Orlans will be responsible for implementation and oversight of the O‘ahu Destination Management Action Plan (DMAP), as well as O‘ahu’s Community Enrichment Program (CEP). Orlans lends extensive experience in the hospitality industry, sales and marketing, as well as sustainability to the new position.
“We are excited to have Catherine join the OVB ohana to lend her expertise in carrying out O‘ahu’s DMAP,” said Noelani Schilling-Wheeler, executive director of OVB. “The O‘ahu Destination Management Action Plan provides a roadmap to a more sustainable future for both residents and our visitor industry. Our community will benefit from Catherine’s role at managing the DMAP actions.”
HTA, in partnership with the City and County of Honolulu and OVB, developed the O‘ahu DMAP with a 23-member steering committee and input from O‘ahu residents through community presentations and an online feedback form. With the goal of rebuilding, redefining and resetting the direction of tourism over a three-year period, the DMAP identifies areas of need and actionable solutions for enhancing the residents’ quality of life as well as improving the visitor experience.
Orlans is in charge of facilitating, implementing and managing the O‘ahu DMAP actions. Her role includes leading meetings and discussions with organizations and agencies involved in the DMAP, as well as engaging with the wider community on DMAP activities and updates. She is responsible for tracking and reporting progress on DMAP actions, managing associated budgets and expenses, and will also report to the DMAP steering committee that now serves as an advisory group. In addition, as the primary manager of O‘ahu’s Community Enrichment Program, Orlans oversees the entire CEP process from RFP release and proposal evaluation; to funding allocation, contracting and reporting.
“Catherine will serve an important role in moving the O‘ahu DMAP actions forward, further empowering residents to have a voice in tourism’s future,” said Caroline Anderson, director of planning for the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. “The vision of the O‘ahu DMAP emphasizes collaboration for a visitor industry that is rooted in mālama in which the island will be abundant and resilient, and our residents and visitors will have respect for each other and our environment.”
Prior to joining OVB, Orlans served as program coordinator with Honeywell. In this position she served as a subject matter expert for water and energy utility conservation programs, with particular focus on the Board of Water Supply’s Water Sensible program. Orlans drove internal gallons saved goals through her work with Board of Water Supply’s conservation and marketing teams to increase registrations and leak detection alerts enrollment. Combined with a sustainability background, Orlans comes with experience in the hospitality industry, having worked as assistant revenue manager at Ala Moana Hotel by Mantra where she provided data analysis to the sales and executive team to help secure new airline, city-wide and government group contracts, resulting in a $1.1 million year over year room revenue growth for the hotel. Prior to that she served as account executive and CS manager at Trump International Hotel Waikīkī where she developed and enrolled 25 accounts into the hotel’s first corporate program.
Orlans holds a B.S. in travel industry management from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa with an emphasis in sustainable tourism and transportation management focusing on impacts to indigenous host cultures of destinations.
“I’m honored to take on this kuleana set forth by our steering committee and island’s community, to pivot our tourism relationship towards regenerative tourism, mutually benefitting our residents and economy at such a critical point and for our future generations,” said Orlans.