Hawaii Ecotourism Association Receives $50,000 from Hawaii Tourism Authority to Expand Certification Program

Honolulu, HI, June 04, 2016 --(PR.com)-- The Hawaii Ecotourism Association (HEA) today announced the receipt of a $50,000 contract from the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) to expand their Sustainable Tour Certification Program.

The Certification Program is a statewide program designed to educate and recognize Hawaii’s tour operators who positively affect natural and cultural resources, contribute to conservation, and help sustain local communities.

The contract was awarded to HEA in an effort to highlight “Green, Eco-friendly & Sustainable” tour operators in preparation for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s World Conservation Congress to be held in September. The contract will allow HEA to expand their capacity for certifications, integrate sustainable tourism into the HTA website, and provide training for tour operators.

HEA has already begun the certification process, with five tour operators already attaining the Sustainable Tourism Seal of Approval. The five new tour operators are Valley Isle Excursions (Maui); Dolphins & You (Oahu); Haleakala Bike (Maui); Body Glove Cruises (Hawaii); Aloha Kayaks Maui (Maui). These are in addition the 18 other tour operators who already have attained certification.

“We are excited and honored to build a more sustainable tourism sector in Hawaii. Tourism can have many positive benefits for local communities and natural environments when approached correctly. Tour operators that attain this certification have shown a dedication to this vision and we are proud to recognize their efforts,” said Chris Barzman, HEA Board Member and Certification Committee Chair.

HEA encourages businesses, residents and visitors alike to contact them with any tour operators who are dedicated to the principles of sustainable tourism. For more information, go to www.hawaiiecotourism.org/travelpono.

About Hawaii Ecotourism Association
Since 1994, HEA has been committed to helping better Hawaii’s travel industry through promoting responsible ecotourism travel and educational tours to conserving the natural and cultural resources in Hawaii. HEA is a 501(c)3 non-profit composed of tour and lodging operators, travel writers, and travel professionals. For more information, visit www.hawaiiecotourism.org.

Media Contacts
Chris Barzman
Hawaii Ecotourism Association, Certification Committee Chair
(619) 917-5925

Valley Isle Excursions
(808) 661-8687

Dolphins & You
(808) 741-7931

Haleakala Bike
(808) 575-9575

Body Glove Cruises
(808) 326-7122

Aloha Kayaks Maui
(808) 270-3318
Hawaii Ecotourism Association
Daniel Logtenberg
(808) 633-1739