Visitors Bureau Seeking Nonprofit Partners
The Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau (MVCB) is seeking nonprofit organizations on Maui Nui to take part in the statewide Malama Hawaii program, an initiative to inspire mindful travel, while encouraging visitors to give back to the destination. Through this initiative, industry partners and volunteer organizations across the state have come together to build the Malama Hawaii initiative.
“There are currently nearly 80 hotel partners and more than 30 nonprofit partners statewide that have joined the program,” said Meagan DeGaia, destination manager of the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau. “We are extremely proud that of those partners, 28 hotel partners and 10 nonprofit partners are based in Maui… With such tremendous support and success from our industry and nonprofit partners on Maui since the inception of the program, we are hopeful that other nonprofits not only on Maui, but on Molokai and Lanai would be interested in partnering with us as we continue to grow the Malama Hawaii program to the greater Maui Nui.”
The Malama Hawaii program offers community organizations the opportunity to bolster its volunteer program with more participants, share their important work with mindful travelers and potentially convert volunteers into donors. The Pacific Whale Foundation’s Coastal Marine Debris Monitoring Program is a popular voluntourism activity that has seen an uptick in volunteers as a result of the Malama Hawaii program.
“The partnerships we’ve created through Malama Hawaii have helped us expand our reach and our mission,” said Kristie Wrigglesworth, Executive Director at Pacific Whale Foundation. “Through this program, we’ve not only decreased the amount of marine debris found on Maui’s Beaches, but we’ve increased our understanding of the types of debris, which helps inform our conservation efforts. Therefore, the impact one visitor can have through our Coastal Marine Debris Monitoring program is felt long after they return home.”
The initiative, which started in 2020, in partnership between the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) and Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) is driven by volunteer projects such as reforestation and tree planting, self-directed beach clean-ups, hands-on processing of historic artifacts and even creating Hawaiian quilts for our kupuna (elders). By making a positive impact, visitors will have a more enriching travel experience and can even enjoy a free extra night from participating hotels.
“There is no better time than now for us to work together and redefine tourism. We look forward to partnering with more local nonprofit organizations and adding more unique, hands-on opportunities for our island’s visitors to connect with the people, culture and ‘aina (land) in a meaningful way. This is the crux of regenerative tourism,” said DeGaia.
For more information on the Malama Hawaii Program, visit gohawaii.com/malama. To sign up and be a part of the program, contact Meagan DeGaia at firstname.lastname@example.org.