Big Island hires destination manager

Rachel Kaiama has been named destination manager for the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau, the first person to hold the title.

The new position is funded by the Hawaii Tourism Authority and was created to help implement Destination Management Action Plans that are being developed and deployed on each publicly accessible island.

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Kaiama will oversee the implementation and reporting of the Island of Hawaii’s Destination Management Action Plan and its Community Enrichment Program. The goal is to rebuild, redefine and reset the direction of tourism over a three-year period, while enhancing residents’ quality of life and improving the visitor experience.

“Millions of people visit the island of Hawaii each year to enjoy its beauty, but the island is more than a tourist destination. Hawaii Island is home to over 200,000 residents and boasts a rich cultural history that must be preserved,” Ross Birch, Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau executive director said in a statement. “Rachel will be instrumental in executing and achieving our objectives to take the Island of Hawaii’s travel industry to new heights with a responsible approach to tourism where the destination and residents equally thrive.”

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Kaiama was born and raised in the Hawaii Island town of Waimea and comes to the role with 30 years of experience in the hospitality and tourism industry, most recently serving as the director of travel industry management professional programs at the University of Hawaii’s Manoa School of Travel Industry Management on Oahu.

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