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EXTP Newsletter
May 2021

Explore Hawaii through Voluntourism

In Hawaiian culture, caring for the aina (land) is not simply a responsibility, but an act that connects to life itself. As your clients plan their travel to the Islands, invite them to malama (care for) Hawaii while here. Volunteer organizations and travel partners statewide are offering a variety of opportunities for visitors to engage in mindful travel while in Hawaii. Check out the examples below and help guide your clients toward visiting in a way that offers enriching experiences, and a real connection to our lands, ocean and people. For more details and information, visit www.gohawaii.com/voluntourism or www.gohawaii.com/malama.

Kauai -
If your clients want to spend as much of their time as possible on Kauai’s luxuriously sandy beaches, suggest they also participate in a beach cleanup with the Surfrider Foundation. Volunteers are asked to help the environment-focused nonprofit remove marine debris and other debris from shorelines to preserve and protect land and sea life.

Oahu - Suggest your clients headed to Oahu visit Gunstock Ranch for a unique opportunity allowing them to malama aina. The ranch’s eco-tour takes guests into Oahu’s lush forests via horseback or ATV on a mission to support reforestation efforts by planting native trees as well as learn about the cultural and ecological significance of Hawaii’s forests. If your client is interested in combining volunteering with a day exploring one of Oahu’s most breathtaking valleys, suggest they visit Kualoa Ranch. Activities they can partake in at Kualoa include planting and harvesting kalo (taro), thatching a traditional Hawaiian hale (grass hut), rebuilding Kaaawa Valley’s auwai (freshwater streams) and more.

Maui - Got clients traveling to Maui? Suggest they check out the ocean conservation activities of the nonprofit Pacific Whale Foundation. Participants helping its Coastal Marine Debris Monitoring Program head out to Maui’s scenic coastline areas to collect and track debris — data the foundation records to help it mitigate and prevent shoreline damage. History buffs are encouraged to visit the sites of the Lahaina Restoration Foundation, a nonprofit working to restore and preserve the historical and cultural legacies of Lahaina. Volunteers will enjoy opportunities to learn more about Maui’s rich cultural history through the foundation’s hands-on activities, which explore photographing, measuring and transcribing historical artifacts from Lahaina’s past, including items from the Kingdom of Hawaii, missionary, whaling and sugarcane-planting eras.

Island of Hawaii - Clients looking to be surrounded by nature on the island of Hawaii can join in on the work of the Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative helping rehabilitate the area’s native ecosystem. Restoration activities for volunteers include clearing weeds, building trails, tree planting and more, all while taking in the sights and sounds of the landscape. Guiding clients interested in learning more about the Hawaiian Islands’ indigenous flora species? Suggest they head to the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden, founded by noted Hawaii botanist Amy Greenwell. Volunteers are invited to learn about the more than 200 endemic species that live in the garden, care for the plants and remove invasive weeds.

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Important Information Regarding Travel to Hawaii

The Hawaiian Islands want to ensure the safety of its residents and visitors from the COVID-19 virus. To do so, Hawaii continues to enforce its Safe Travels pre-travel testing program, even for fully vaccinated travelers. All travelers ages five and older will be required to present negative test results from a Trusted Testing and Travel Partner in order to bypass the State of Hawaii’s 10-day mandatory quarantine. The test needs to be taken no more than 72 hours before your flight departure time and results must be received prior to boarding. For more information, visit hawaiicovid19.com/travel and register with the State of Hawaii Safe Travels online system.

While the CDC has removed its face mask recommendation for those who are vaccinated, please be sure to remind your clients that the Hawaiian Islands still have a mandatory mask mandate in place for all public spaces.

Malama Hawaii Virtual Event

Register to access updates and information

If you missed our Malama Hawaii virtual event May 12-13, you can click on the link below for valuable destination updates, supplier presentations, highlights of our Malama Hawaii program and a resource center to access materials. As travel protocols have changed and the demand for Hawaii has increased, this is the perfect opportunity to keep yourself updated.


Most importantly, you’ll learn about how you can help your clients experience a deeper connection with the people and culture of Hawaii giving back to the destination—following safe health practices—and preserving it for the future.

Click here to register and learn more


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