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Princeville resort part of state’s ‘regenerative tourism’ push

PRINCEVILLE — The Cliffs at Princeville resort is donating a portion of guests’ bills to local conservation efforts through a new partnership with the hotel-booking website Kind Traveler.

The initiative, which benefits the Kaua‘i chapter of the nonprofit Surfrider Foundation, reflects the Hawai‘i visitor industry’s recent promotion of socially conscious travel opportunities.

General Manager Jim Braman describes The Cliffs’ donations and participation in Surfrider Kaua‘i’s Ocean Friendly Visitors Program as opportunities to make that rhetoric a reality.

“Everybody talks about regenerative tourism and things like that,” Braman told The Garden Island. “But to actually be able to put something in place that’s concrete, that you can say that you’re doing, is wonderful.”

$10 is sent to Surfrider for every room night at The Cliffs is booked through Kind Traveler.

The Kind Traveler donations do not affect guests’ rates. Online shoppers will find identical prices on other booking platforms.

The website caters to shoppers’ desire to do good while on vacation, to set itself apart.

“The whole idea is attracting those sort of people to the island,” Braman explained.

The general manager has served many people eager to give back to Kaua‘i, often through the Ocean Friendly Visitors Program, which provides guests with beach-cleaning equipment and conservation education.

Participating locations include the Hilton Garden Inn Kaua‘i Wailua Bay and the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort &Spa, Timbers and Sheraton resorts, in addition to The Cliffs.

Surfrider Executive Committee member Cynthia Welti said the five businesses are “all on board” with Ocean Friendly Visitors.

“The Cliffs is a great example,” Welti said. “They walk the walk.”

Visitors don’t want
‘to just take’

A recent University of Hawai‘i study indicates visitors want to engage with the state’s island communities and are willing to pay more for sustainable experiences.

The research, published in the peer-reviewed journal Tourism and Hospitality earlier this month, collected and analyzed the responses of 454 U.S. residents who had previously visited Hawai‘i.

The study’s authors, including UH School of Travel Industry Management Professor Jerry Agrusa, found a strong desire for environmental sustainability and cultural sensitivity among domestic travelers.

“They do not want to just take any longer, but they want to give back as well,” Agrusa said in a UH press release.

Agrusa argued initiatives catering to these demands could create new job opportunities in Hawai‘i, citing some hotels’ employment of Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners as an example.

“Originally, Hawai‘i was known in marketing as the three ‘S’s’ – the sun, sea and sand,” the professor said. “But what we need to do is add a fourth ‘S,’ and that fourth ‘S’ is ‘sustainability.’”

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Scott Yunker, reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or syunker@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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