News Releases

Tourism Industry Takes a Stand Against Sex Trafficking

For Immediate Release: November 4, 2019
HTA Release (19-30)

2019-11-04 Tourism Industry Takes a Stand Against Sex Trafficking.pdf

HONOLULU – It’s a dark side of tourism that people don’t often talk about – sex trafficking. According to Hoola Na Pua, sex traffickers often take advantage of the privacy and anonymity accessible through the hospitality industry. Many of the victims are young Hawaii residents.

Today, Hoola Na Pua, a Hawaii nonprofit working to combat sex trafficking, held the first of four symposiums, presented by Hawaii Tourism, and in partnership with the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association. The “Campaign for a Safer Community” symposiums are free to attend thanks to tourism dollars.

Over a hundred people signed up to attend today’s symposium on Oahu – a mix of visitor industry leaders and workers, politicians, and community members.

The symposiums are aimed at empowering Hawaii’s visitor industry management, and encouraging them to raise awareness and take a stand against trafficking.

Topics include: “Defining Trafficking & Exploitation,” “Tourism Industry as Key Partners in Protecting Our Community,” and “Responding, Reporting, and Action Steps.”

Today’s symposium was held at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki. They continue this week:

  • 5, 2019: Maui (Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Kaanapali)
  • 6, 2019: Hawaii Island (Natural Energy Lab of Hawaii – Hale Iako, Kailua-Kona)
  • 7, 2019: Kauai (Sheraton Kauai Resort, Poipu)

If you are interested in attending one of the upcoming events, please go to:

For a link to b-roll and interviews of today’s symposium click HERE.

Interviews with:

  • Chris Tatum, President & CEO, Hawaii Tourism Association
  • Elaine McCartin, Corporate Partnerships and Training Manager for Polaris Project
  • John F. Tobon, Acting Special Agent in Charge for HSI

Video courtesy: Hoola Na Pua

Additional credits: Hawaii Tourism Authority, Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Authority, The Royal Hawaiian, Marriott Waikiki Complex

[Read full Release here]

Media Contacts:

Marisa Yamane
Director of Communications and Public Relations
Hawaii Tourism Authority
808-973-2272 (o)
[email protected]

Erin Khan
Vice President - Travel and Tourism
Anthology Marketing Group
808-539-3428 (o)
[email protected]