The Island of Hawai‘i Visitors Bureau (IHVB) announced today that Rachel Kaiama has joined its team as Destination Manager. In her newly appointed role, Kaiama will oversee the implementation and reporting of Hawai‘i Island’s Destination Management Action Plan (DMAP) and Community Enrichment Program. The goal is to rebuild, redefine and reset the direction of tourism over a three-year period, while enhancing residents’ quality of life and improving the visitor experience.
“Millions of people visit the island of Hawai‘i each year to enjoy its beauty, but the island is more than a tourist destination. Hawai‘i Island is home to over 200,000 residents and boasts a rich cultural history that must be preserved,” said Ross Birch, Island of Hawai‘i Visitors Bureau Executive Director. “Rachel will be instrumental in executing and achieving our objectives to take the island of Hawai‘i’s travel industry to new heights with a responsible approach to tourism where the destination and residents equally thrive.”
Kaiama is a travel and hospitality veteran with more than 30 years of experience. She comes to the Island of Hawai‘i Visitors Bureau from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa School of Travel Industry Management (TIM) on O‘ahu, where she has served for nearly three decades in a variety of roles, most recently as the school’s director of travel industry management professional programs.
“In my career, I have seen firsthand the positive and negative impacts tourism has on the natural resources, to kama‘āina and malihini, and to its unique cultural and historical importance that we cherish,” said Kaiama. “I am honored to join the Island of Hawai‘i Visitors Bureau and am eager to work for the preservation of Hawai‘i and the care of its people to ensure the island’s prosperity for generations to come.”
Born and raised in Waimea on the island of Hawai‘i, Kaiama will return to her Hawai‘i Island roots and leverage her vast experience to promote a regenerative tourism model that will ultimately enrich and sustain the community and the environment.
“Rachel is a timely addition to the team and will be working closely with the residents and community on Hawai‘i Island to ensure their voice is heard as the DMAP actions continue to move forward,” said Caroline Anderson, HTA’s director of planning. “Her efforts will help HTA achieve its overarching mission of Mālama Kuʻu Home (caring for my beloved home) as we strive for a greater balance of tourism in our communities.”