Community Involvement Programs
In line with its mission of developing and disseminating travel and tourism concepts, knowledge and skills that contributes to economic, social, and environmental sustainability as well as supports and enriches the host culture, the TIM School is partnering with:
Hawaii Institute of Hospitality & Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association
We are assisting the Hawaii Institute of Hospitality and the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association on its Native Hawaiian Information Alliance. Its purpose is to directly connect visitors, visitor industry organizations, and local residents with native Hawaiian cultural events, activities, literature, art, crafts, music, healing arts, historic sites and any information that serves to perpetuate, preserve, protect, and promote native Hawaiian culture with dignity and integrity. This project might be best explained by saying the purpose is to put a face on the native Hawaiian culture.
Native Hawaiian culture not only lends fundamental value to Hawaii as a visitor destination but is exploited as a marketing theme in the selling of Hawaii raising expectations that Native Hawaiian experiences are readily and easily accessed. The reality is that visitors and locals alike are hard-pressed to find native Hawaiian cultural experiences. Information that will connect them to authentic Hawaiian cultural experiences is difficult to access because it is not included in the mainstream visitor information programs. This phenomenon is a result of an information management system that is driven by expensive paid advertising that to a large extent dominates the market. Further, the so labeled Hawaiian experiences that are the subject of such paid advertising are generally masquerades or faux replicas of the genuine experience from which they are supposed to derive.
The consequence is that the purveyors of genuine and authentic Hawaiian experiences are alienated from the market because they cannot afford to financially compete and the visitor is shielded from the vast majority of these experiences. The more tragic consequence is that cultural entrepreneurship is discouraged so that local communities are distanced from functioning as real hosts with levels of intimacy that large scale tourism is unable to achieve. Ironically, these are the 4-diamond experiences that give Hawaii its fundamental value to the visitor that lends to the sustainability of the destination as unique and apart from any other in the world. The Native Hawaiian Information Alliance intends to address the information challenge by offering an alternative non-advertising driven information system that utilizes all media formats and one that has the potential for market saturation. That is the system would be financed through sponsorships and grants that recognizes and gives credit to sponsorsand contributors. Paid advertising is precluded as a means of revenue.
An important aspect of the program is insuring the integrity of the information through a free registration or subscriber program to insure that it qualifies for inclusion as authentically Hawaiian. Authentically Hawaiian is defined as an a cultural practice, service, product, activity, or event that exists for its own sake and is not specifically constructed for tourists. Qualifying criteria might include some of the following.
The information must:
- Support or communicate an authentic Native Hawaiian cultural service, product, activity, event, or practice.
- Support the creative expression of Native Hawaiian artists and cultural practitioners.
- Demonstrate sensitivity to Native Hawaiian cultural customs and traditions.
- Embrace and advocate Native Hawaiian culture as integral to the Hawai'i experience.
- Recognizes or restores a Hawaiian sense of place.