Hawai‘i Tourism Authority updates cultural resource ‘Ma‘ema‘e Toolkit’ for visitors

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The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, in partnership with the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association, has released its Ma‘ema‘e Toolkit, a cultural resource that has recently been enhanced for the visitor industry, businesses and community organizations to portray the Hawaiian Islands in a manner that is accurate and authentic.

The Ma‘ema‘e Toolkit includes topics such as the Islands’ geography, natural resources, ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i, or Hawaiian language, royal heritage, Hawaiian festivals, customs and traditions, sensitivities, proper place names, and additional contacts and resources.

Maʻemaʻe — meaning cleanliness, purity — represents the idea that descriptions and portrayals of Hawai‘i should be clean, attractive and pure, and therefore without misrepresentations or inaccuracies.

“The Ma‘ema‘e Toolkit provides essential information and guidance for the visitor industry and businesses to understand how to accurately represent Hawai‘i and Hawaiian culture in their bodies of work,” said Kalani Ka‘anā‘anā, HTA’s chief brand officer. “A foundational component of our brand management efforts, the toolkit is utilized and amplified by our Global Marketing Team and partners throughout the world to urge authentic representation of Hawai‘i’s people, places, and cultures.”


Mālia Sanders, executive director for Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association, said the toolkit, coupled with other resources in training and education from the association, diversifies the opportunities for the industry to learn and engage with Hawaiian culture in a more meaningful and culturally appropriate way.

“NaHHA appreciates the value HTA has placed in this resource to continuously partner with us to produce and integrate new updates and for HTA’s commitment to share the Maʻemaʻe Toolkit more broadly with the industry and their partners,” Sanders said.

Since its first edition in 2010, Ma‘ema‘e has evolved from a resource for media to a living toolkit for anyone who has a role in representing Hawai‘i. It will continue to be refined and updated with pertinent topics and areas of interest.


The Ma‘ema‘e Toolkit is available on HTA’s website at:ʻemaʻe-toolkit/

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