HONOLULU (KHON2) — The word “Malama” means “to care for.” The Hawaii Tourism Authority just launched its Malama Hawaii Initiative, encouraging island visitors to give back to their destination. 

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Many businesses have already jumped on board to create incentives for their guests. Over 30 businesses have agreed to encourage visitors to give back to Hawaii.  

Alaska Airlines has committed to planting 900 trees by the ending of the year, one for every flight that arrives in the Hawaiian islands. 

“Why trees?  It’s really about how we can support the native environment,” says Daniel Chun, Director of Sales, Community and Public Relations – Hawaii for Alaska Airlines.  

“When you plant a native-endemic tree, it really helps to reforest the lands in Hawaii.  And native Hawaiian birds, insects and wildlife, they also benefit from these forests.”  

Participating hotels are offering specials for guests if they chose to learn about aina and contribute to the local community.  

For example, a free night stay at Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort is one of the offerings.   

“So it’s everything from hearing about the lo’i and how why that was important to Native Hawaiians down to the environment as far as reef-safe sunscreen and micro-plastics,” says Monica Salter, Vice President Corporate Communications for Outrigger Hospitality Group.  

“Our goal is really for people to have a hands-on experience and just get in the lo’i, experience it, and take that home with them.”  

Tourism was forced to reset because of the pandemic. Malama Hawaii may be the start to a change in travel, all for the better. 

“We are trying to impress upon on our guest and sort of attract even a different type of guest, a different type of mindset of our guest,” says Chun.

“As travel starts ramping back up again, if we can attract visitors that really have this Malama mindset, we all win.”  

Alaska Airlines is also encouraging travelers to give back by sponsoring a Legacy Tree with Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative.  

For more information, click here.

For all details of the participating partners in Malama Hawaii, click here.

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