HONOLULU — The Hawaii Tourism Authority Board of Directors elected former Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann as its new chair during a special board meeting on Thursday.
The appointment is effective immediately. Mahina Paishon will continue to serve as vice chair.
“HTA carries with it the duty to always do what’s best for the future of Hawaii and its people while guiding our state’s largest and most important industry to be continually successful in the extremely competitive global tourism economy,” Hannemann said in a statement released on Thursday. “I’m honored to have the board’s confidence in serving as chair and look forward to working collaboratively with Gov. Josh Green, our legislature and HTA’s leadership team to respond to the challenges faced by the industry so that everyone can share in the benefits tourism generates for Hawaii while also taking care of our communities.”
Former chair Blaine Miyasato resigned from the position to focus on his duties as managing director of state government affairs for Hawaiian Airlines following the acquisition of the airline by Alaska Air. He will continue to serve on the 12-member board.
“I enjoyed tremendously my tenure as chair and seeing first hand all the good that the HTA and the tourism industry can accomplish for our state and its people,” Miyasato said. “Chair Hannemann will do a superb job as chair in guiding the HTA to fulfill its mission.”
Hannemann, who served as mayor from 2005 to 2010, is the president and chief executive officer of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association and a member of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.
HTA interim president and CEO Daniel Nahoopii called Hannemann “a proven, well-respected leader who has a strong vision and passion for how HTA and tourism can make Hawaii a better place to live and work.”