Millions of visitors come to Hawaii every year.
Unfortunately, a few never make it home.
From drownings to hiking tragedies, the Hawaii Tourism Authority has become involved in making sure visitors are more aware of Hawaii’s hidden dangers.
It’s called the Kuleana Campaign and includes safety and cultural videos from each county.
The videos will air on certain airlines and in hotel rooms to help educate visitors before they arrive to the islands.
HTA said the videos are aimed at curbing some of the challenges each county is facing.
Topics include protecting the reefs, ocean safety, land safety, and vacation rentals.
“Many travelers visiting the Hawaiian Islands don’t necessarily understand why we stay on the trail when we hike, why we care about protecting our reefs, and many of the dangers they need to be mindful of,” said Jay Talwar, HVCB’s chief marketing officer. “Rather than scold them, we felt that if our residents shared the ‘whys’ behind appropriate behavior then most visitors would follow along; in other words, if we don’t show them the trail, how can we expect them to stay on it? That’s what our new Kuleana Campaign aims to do.”
This comes as two hikers remain missing on two different islands.
Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club hiking coordinator Barbara Bruno said the videos are a good start to keep hikers safe.
“Hawaii is paradise, that’s the reputation we have so people, therefore, assume they can swim in the ocean or go hiking and everything will be safe but that’s not a true statement,” she said.
“We can definitely talk about hike safety and what we can do to make ourselves have a safer experience but I think the real question we have to ask ourselves is, ‘Why does this happen so often in Hawaii?’”
She said many of Hawaii’s trails aren’t well-maintained.
“Many of our trails have a lot of junctions and signs aren’t posted so I think we have to ask ourselves what we should be doing to ensure hiker safety rather than always putting the burden on the hiker.”
“Hawaii does have unique dangers and it’s important to build your skills here,” Bruno said.
Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, and Southwest Airlines are showing these videos to passengers before they arrive to Hawaii.
Some hotels across the state are also showing the videos in their rooms.
HTA and HVCB said they are working to expand the reach of the videos to more airlines and hotels.
The videos have also been translated into Japanese, Chinese and Korean.
In addition, HTA said when visitors log in to their Facebook and Instagram accounts, they will see the “Kuleana” videos pop up on their feeds while they’re in Hawaii, thanks to geo-targeting technology.
Tourism dollars through the Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT) are being used to pay for the creation and distribution of the videos.