The Hawaiian Culture Initiative (HCI) is one of nine initiatives of the Hawai‘i Tourism Strategic Plan (TSP) 2005 - 2015. Developed by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, the TSP represents a shared vision for a sustainable, responsible, and successful tourism industry. HCI's overarching goal is to honor and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture and community.


The Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association (NaHHA) was named as the lead organization for the HCI. NaHHA's first priority was to gather information and points of view from all stakeholders to create an informed Action Plan for actualizing the HCI. Numerous outreach efforts occurred including community meetings on all islands, individualized industry meetings, focus groups, special sessions, and the NaHHA Tourism Conference. 


During this process it became clear that there were many diverse viewpoints about tourism, its impacts on Hawai‘i, and Hawaiian culture. Yet, there also were many common areas of concern. The Action Plan includes forty-five (45) Actions to fulfill the HCI objectives, and represents a cross-section of stakeholder input.The Action Plan is an effort to integrate and perpetuate Hawaiian culture, historic perspective, and values throughout the state's tourism industry.

Cultural Training 

Hoʻokipa: Hawaiʻi Style


This introductory 2.5 hour class will foster a sense of belonging, encourage personal initiative, and build a collective knowledge of the history of place. This class will equip the staff with the tools to ensure that visitors’ needs are met with a high level of satisfaction and that their experience is healing and exemplary. The following concepts will be covered through the class exercises and activities.

Aloha: A foundational value and the core of hoʻokipa

  • Understand and live a deeper meaning of aloha as taught by Aunty Pilahi Pākī, one of Hawai‛i’s treasured kūpuna (elders).

  • Learn about the foundational values that support aloha.

  • See how the expression of each foundational value in our lives enriches us and others.

  • Understand Aloha as the essence of Hawaiian culture and the over-arching value of inclusiveness.

Understanding Hoʻokipa: Going beyond just saying Aloha

  • Exploring hoʻokipa (to host) as the Hawaiian model of hospitality.

  • Discusses the skill sets needed to manage the guest experience and to take the quality of the visitor experience to another level.

  • Discusses the emphasis which will be placed on the quality of the guest experience which depends on the relationship between the host, the guest, and the place and how it is to be deliberately managed.

Kuleana: A privilege and responsibility

  • Discusses effectuating kuleana by understanding its meaning through moʻolelo (stories).

  • Explores kuleana as the building blocks of responsibility and how it is deeply rooted to understanding ones “sense of purpose” in both life and work.

  • Objectives are to learn accountability, good work ethic, and dependability as a result of identifying ones kuleana.

Introduction to ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi

  • Practice the piʻaʻpa, the Hawaiian alphabet. Learn proper pronunciation and the basics of the Hawaiian language.

  • Exercises include Hakalama drills, popular Oʻahu place names, and significant people in Hawaiian history.

310 Paoakalani Ave #201a,

Honolulu, HI 96815

(808) 628-6374

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©2019 by Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association.