ASSOCIATION OF HAWAIIAN CIVIC CLUBS
No. 2017 – 56
URGING THE HAWAIʻI STATE LEGISLATURE TO AUTHORIZE A NATIVE HAWAIIAN TOURISM AND CULTURAL FUND THAT INVESTS RESOURCES TOWARDS COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE, IMPROVES THE ECONOMIC SITUATION OF NATIVE HAWAIIANS AND NATIVE HAWAIIAN-OWNED BUSINESSES, AND SETS ASIDE RESOURCES FOR A NATIVE HAWAIIAN GOVERNING ENTITY
WHEREAS, the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs passed Resolution 16-12 to assess the state and needs of cultural, traditional knowledge, and intellectual property rights of the Native Hawaiian people, and through Resolution 16-12 it recognizes the use of Native Hawaiian cultural, traditional knowledge and intellectual property by the visitor industry for a commercial benefit to that industry; and
WHEREAS, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), approximately 8.9 million visitors came to the State of Hawai‘i in 2016, a three percent increase from 2015, and visitors further increased in the first half of 2017 by 4.3 percent to 4,604,976 compared to 2016 numbers, boosted by growth in arrivals both by air (up four percent to 4,534,893) and by cruise ships (up nearly 24 percent to 70,083); and
WHEREAS, according to the HTA, on average, there were about 220,000 visitors in the state on any given day in 2016; and
WHEREAS, according to the HTA, visitors in the first half of 2017 spent a total of $8.4 billion in the state, an increase of over eight percent compared to the first half of 2016; and
WHEREAS, many visitors come to Hawaiʻi to experience the islands’ natural beauty and world-renowned Aloha Spirit of our host-culture, exemplified by the many ambassadors who welcome thousands of visitors to the State each day; and
WHEREAS, use of Native Hawaiian Traditional and Cultural practices throughout the State of Hawaiʻi and especially in the visitor industry is essential to the marketing of the Hawaiʻi experience; and
WHEREAS, use of Native Hawaiian cultural practices, such as, hula, oli, moʻolelo, Native Hawaiian music, food preparation, and references to our Native Hawaiian pre-contact religious practices constitute the essence of a visitor’s Hawaiʻi experience (without which Hawai‘i is just another tropical beach); and
WHEREAS, the perpetuation of authentic Native Hawaiian cultural practices is best protected by the healthy economic and social well-being of the Native Hawaiians and the Native Hawaiian community and ultimately a sovereign Native Hawaiian government; and
WHEREAS, according to a State of Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT)-commissioned study, nearly one in every four jobs depend on visitor spending in diverse sectors such as accommodations, restaurants, retail, entertainment, amusement, and recreational services; and for every dollar spent in Hawai‘i by visitors, 30 cents is on hotels, 14 cents on air travel, 11 cents is on trade, and another ten cents is for restaurant meals; and
WHEREAS, despite this dependency of the State’s economy on the tourism industry the island faces numerous challenges from environmental factors, aging infrastructure, and consistently increasing number of daily visitors in the State; and
WHEREAS, according to DBEDT, between 2011 and 2015, an average of 37,386 Native Hawaiians worked in the tourism intensive industries per year, accounted for 16 percent of the total workers in these industries, and 35.3 percent of the Native Hawaiian workers in all the industries; and
WHEREAS, according to the U. S. Census Bureau data, in 2012, Native Hawaiians are more active in the art, entertainment, and recreation industry, where 17.1 percent of the firms in the state are owned by Native Hawaiians; and
WHEREAS, there exists an economic injustice because Native Hawaiian-owned firms were smaller in terms of employment size, lower annual average wage, and lower annual sales per firm as compared with state averages; and
WHEREAS, State funding for Native Hawaiian business development can help to correct the economic injustice against Native Hawaiians and Native Hawaiian-owned businesses in the tourism industry and establish the infrastructure necessary for a healthy Native Hawaiian economy.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs at its 58th annual convention at Seattle, Washington, in the malama of ʻIkuwā and the rising of Māhealani, this 4th day of November 2017, urging the Hawai‘i State Legislature to authorize a Native Hawaiian tourism and cultural fund that invests resources towards community infrastructure, improves the economic situation of Native Hawaiians and Native Hawaiian-owned businesses, and sets aside resources for a Native Hawaiian governing entity.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a certified copy of this resolution be transmitted to the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce as well as the Governor of the State of Hawai‘i, President of the State Senate, Speaker of the State House of Representatives, Chair of the State Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the State House Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources, & Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, all County Mayors
The undersigned hereby certifies that the foregoing Resolution was duly adopted in the malama of ʻIkuwā and the rising of Māhealani on the 4th day of November 2017, at the 58th Annual Convention of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs in Seattle, Washington.
Annelle C. Amaral, President