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Local Business Hui Announces Launch of “We Are Ready” Campaign

October 15, 2020

Central Pacific Bank is among a cross-sector group of twelve organizations who are sponsoring the “We Are Ready” multi-platform media campaign which will include TV advertising, digital, and social media, all promoting the message that Hawai‘i and its people are ready to welcome visitors back to the islands.

HONOLULU – The Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association, Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, Hawai‘i Agricultural Foundation, and Hawaiian Airlines announced today the launch of their “Mākaukau – We Are Ready” education and media campaign. The campaign coincides with the Oct. 15 reopening of Hawai‘i to trans-Pacific travel and was conceived by several leaders of the state’s tourism, business, and service industries in the wake of the COVID-19 public health crisis that has crippled Hawai‘i’s economy.

Mufi Hannemann, president and CEO of the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association, said, “Tourism, travel, and hospitality spending have long been key components of our economy. From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have emphatically stated that restoring tourism would be necessary if we were to have any hope of reviving our economy. And it all begins with ensuring that our places of business provide a safe, clean, and healthy environment for our visitors as well as our employees and associates. ‘Mākaukau – We Are Ready’ shows that we’re ready and eager to welcome visitors to our shores once again.”

Effective hygiene standards and protocols emerged as a major priority because it was clear that public officials and the community had to be confident that, if and when a date were set to reopen Hawai‘i’s tourism economy, the business sectors would be prepared to meet State and county public health guidelines, rules, and requirements. To that end, organizations like the Retail Merchants of Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Restaurant Association, A3H, which represents activities and attractions, and HLTA all generated health procedures and protocols.

Recognizing the critical role that tourism would play in restarting Hawai‘i’s economy, HLTA’s Hannemann, Chamber president and CEO Sherry Menor-McNamara, and HAF Executive Director Denise Yamaguchi first joined to urge Governor David Ige and other elected officials to re-open Hawai‘i to travelers by Oct. 15 in a manner both safe and expedient. From these initial meetings, the “We Are Ready” idea was born, and Hawaiian Airlines joined the coalition shortly thereafter. Other initial major sponsors include Hawaiian Electric Industries, Central Pacific Bank, Hawaiian Airlines® Bank of Hawaii World Elite Mastercard®, American Savings Bank, Hawai‘i Farm Bureau, Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival, Fund for the Pacific Century, and Hawai‘i Community Foundation.

“Our local businesses are ready and are going above and beyond to keep customers and employees safe. We continue to encourage everyone to practice personal responsibility and wear a mask, as well as adhere to all safety measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and save lives, jobs and businesses,” said Chamber of Commerce Hawaii President & CEO Sherry Menor-McNamara.

The multi-platform media campaign will include TV advertising and digital and social media, all promoting the message that Hawai‘i and its people are ready to welcome visitors back to the islands. Initial TV spots will depict the deep connection between tourism, from air travel to lodgings, and local businesses, to include agriculture, restaurants, retail, transportation, attractions, and small business.

“Our restaurants and farmers are a vital part of our economy and we need tourism to open in order for them to survive,” said Denise Yamaguchi, executive director of Hawaii Agricultural Foundation. “They, along with their workers, are ready to get back to work with safety protocols in place for the protection of our residents and visitors.”

The goals of the “We Are Ready” campaign will extend further than advertising that Hawai‘i is now open for business. Public sentiment regarding the tourism industry has wavered since the suspension of travel and establishment of a state-mandated, 14-day quarantine. Featured prominently throughout the campaign’s first video ads will be new health and hygiene practices that can be expected by visitors and locals alike. From temperature checks to updated cleaning policies, businesses have spent months devising and implementing new standards of protocol meant to keep both travelers and residents safe from COVID-19.

“Hawaiian Airlines and our employees are ready to welcome onboard more of our guests, including visitors and our fellow kama‘āina travelers, to support the safe and responsible reopening of our economy,” said Peter Ingram, president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines. “We have invested in comprehensive protocols, from airport curb to cabin, to protect our employees and guests and we are all looking forward to sharing our Hawaiian hospitality with travelers once again.”

Hawaiian’s comprehensive health and safety program covers all aspects of the travel journey, starting at check-in, when guests must complete a health acknowledgement form indicating they are free of COVID-19 symptoms and will wear a face mask or covering. The airline’s “Keeping You Safe” program features enhanced cleaning practices and includes a cabin capacity cap of 70 percent that will continue through Dec. 15.

Similarly, HLTA’s health protocols were developed through a comprehensive statewide process involving all the key segments of our local lodging and accommodations sector. Ultimately our Health, Safety, & Security Standards were vetted and approved by the State Department of Health and focus on three pillars: Mākaukau (Proper Preparation); Hana Pono (Standard Procedures); and Pane (Appropriate Answers). These were created also by drawing upon CDC, WHO, EPA, and OSHA guidelines.

The underlying message of the campaign is that businesses are eager to open and expand their services and employees are anxious and happy to return to work. The “We Are Ready” campaign is slated to begin on Oct. 15. The campaign hashtag is #weareready. To learn more, visit the campaign website at Mā

About Hawaiian Airlines
Now in its 91st year of continuous service, Hawaiian is Hawai‘i’s biggest and longest-serving airline. In 2019, Hawaiian offered nonstop flights between Hawai‘i and more U.S. gateway cities (13) than any other airline, along with service connecting the islands with Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa and Tahiti. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hawaiian is currently operating an adjusted schedule of daily flights within the Hawaiian Islands, and between Hawai‘i and the U.S. west coast as well as Japan.

About the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii
The Chamber of Commerce Hawaii is a statewide, non-profit organization whose mission is to serve as the advocate for business in Hawai‘i. The Chamber represents more than 2,000 member organizations to advance Hawai‘i’s economic climate and help the business community thrive locally, nationally, and globally.

About the Hawai‘i Agricultural Foundation
The Hawai‘i Agricultural Foundation is a non-profit organization that was created to promote agriculture and farming. Its mission is to support and sustain Hawai‘i’s agricultural industry by addressing critical needs and services of farmers and the agricultural industry.

About the HLTA
The Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association is the state’s largest private organization representing hotels, condominiums, timeshares, other lodging entities, suppliers, and related firms and individuals with a connection to tourism. HLTA is dedicated to supporting the hospitality industry through education, political action, and membership benefits, and raising awareness about its contributions throughout the state.

Contact for HLTA
Jared Ellis
Director of Communications
Phone: (808) 923-0407
Mobile: (808) 222-6523
Email: [email protected]

Contact for Chamber of Commerce Hawaii
Katie Arita-Chang
Director, Communications & Public Affairs
hone: (808) 380-2610
Email: [email protected]

Contact for Hawaii Agricultural Foundation
Denise Yamaguchi
Executive Director
Phone: (808) 386-2538
Email: [email protected]

Contact for Hawaiian Airlines
Alex Da Silva
Director, External Communications
Phone: (808) 835-3712
Email: [email protected]