Hawaii’s new guidelines for
meetings, conventions and incentives were outlined yesterday during I Mua Hawai’i, a virtual trade show produced for Meet Hawaii by
Northstar Meetings Group. The event, which gave planners and suppliers the
opportunity to meet in digital booths, was held the same day the state relaxed
its mandatory 14-day quarantine order for
John Reyes, Meet Hawaii’s senior vice president and chief MCI (meetings, conventions and incentives) sales officer, shared details of theNew Hawaii MCI Blueprint,a planner information hub that will
guide will be regularly updated with the latest health and safety guidelines
for the state, along with real-time reopening information on hotels,
restaurants, activities and attractions.
"We're hearing from all of you
[planners] that you really want to get the most current information and
guidelines and what to expect. The New Hawaii MCI Blueprint is all about
responding proactively, prior to you even choosing Hawaii [for upcoming
events],” said Reyes. He also shared details of
Hawaii’s new visitor policy, which, as of Oct. 15, allows travelers to Hawaii
or between islands to avoid the state's 14-day quarantine order by providing
proof of a negative Covid-19 test. The test must be completed within 72 hours
prior to departure from the final leg of travel.
The blueprint will also keep track of airline service, both from the U.S. mainland to Hawaii and among the Hawaiian Islands.
"Before the pandemic, the airlines would finalize schedules up to a year in
advance; the new normal is that they are finalizing their monthly schedules
just a few days in advance," explained Jeffrey Eslinger,
senior director, marketing insights, at the Hawaii Visitors and Convention
Orton, general manager of the
Hawaii Convention Center, closed
out the session by sharing details of the stringent new health and safety guidelines
the venue has put into place for when it reopens. Currently the venue
remains closed and a reopening date has not been set.
highlights of the I Mua Hawai’i event included keynote speaker Dewitt Jones,
a renowned photojournalist who spent 20 years capturing the beauty of nature
and humanity for National Geographic. Through a combination of stories and
photographs from his global travels, he stressed the value of focusing one’s
vision on what’s right about every situation, rather than
zeroing in on what’s wrong — as most people tend to do.
"Remember to step back just
a little bit from your human-centered world," he advised, "and celebrate the
beauty of the world around us." That concept is at the root of Hawaiian
culture, said Jones, a resident of the Hawaiian island Molokai. "Hawaiians have
a wonderful lens for viewing the world. It’s called aloha. It’s one of the
reasons I live here."