Hoʻokipa Hawaiʻi Focuses on Community and Visitor Engagement

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Hoʻokipa Hawaiʻi Weekend, presented by the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association (NaHHA), will take place Feb. 3-4, 2024, at the Royal Hawaiian Center.

It is a two-day family friendly event dedicated to the inclusion of Hawaiian culture and knowledge systems through the medium of Hawaiian cultural practitioners, exhibits, demonstrations and vendors that engage community and visitors in a greater understanding and appreciation for the Native Hawaiian culture and Hawaiʻi.

Regenerative tourism extends sustainable tourism to address the primary core needs of the community, ensuring that benefits are circulated back into the community in a just and reciprocal manner. For a visitor, understanding where their dollar goes when they spend it is a critical element of responsible visiting.

One of the elements of the event is the Kuhikuhi Marketplace, a vendor mākeke (marketplace) that is specific to Native Hawaiian-owned small businesses that have a product or service that aligns with NaHHA’s mission and fundamentals.

Vendors who will be showcased here have been vetted by NaHHA to ensure that their products and services speak to the ideals of regeneration. Many vendors will be graduates of NaHHA’s Pākōlea program which focuses on removing the barriers for Native Hawaiian-owned small businesses to gain access to the industry and land their products on the shelves for visitor consumption providing local goods and services that are sustainable, socially responsible and culturally appropriate while keeping local business capital gains continuously circulating in the Hawaiʻi economy.

The Kuhikuhi Marketplace grows these opportunities to ensure local small businesses are engaged in tourism and that this interaction provides economic benefit to local families and reduces capital flight.

This event will feature center-stage activities at Helumoa, sponsored by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and will include musical performances and storytelling, as well as for ma uka to ma kai panel discussions on topics focused on our ancestral and modern relationships and interactions with ʻāina (land) and water; both kai (salt water) and wai (fresh water).

Each day will include two panel discussions. Facilitators and panelists will be knowledgeable community pillars and cultural practitioners driven by the restoring of cultural modalities that work from Indigenous knowledge bases.

While visitors and the larger community are becoming familiar with Native Hawaiian value systems, there is a need for the extension of these concepts to be expressed and demonstrated through hands-on authentic and respectful, reciprocal exchanges with Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners themselves – with a calling for community engagement.

NaHHA invites those with expertise in cultural programming, artisans, practitioners, and vendors with interest to visit www.nahha.com/events for more information and to apply.

We will share more information on www.nahha.com as details develop through our planning. Information on hotel room packages for the weekend will be shared soon! We look forward to inviting the public to Waikīkī to enjoy the Hoʻokipa Hawaiʻi Weekend next February!