HTA Earns President’s ‘E’ Award for Exporting Tourism

May 17, 2016, 8:55 AM HST · Updated May 17, 9:01 AM
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US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker (left) and US Rep. Tulsi Gabbard presented the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority with the President’s “E” Award today in Washington, DC. Accepting the award was HTA President and CEO George D. Szigeti and HTA Director of Communications Charlene Chan. Photo credit: US Department of Commerce

US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker (left) and US Rep. Tulsi Gabbard presented the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority with the President’s “E” Award today in Washington, DC. Accepting the award was HTA President and CEO George D. Szigeti and HTA Director of Communications Charlene Chan. Photo credit: US Department of Commerce

The President’s “E” Award for Export Service of Tourism was presented to the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority yesterday at during a special ceremony in Washington, DC.

US Rep. Tulsi Gabbard joined US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker in making the presentation to George D. Szigeti, HTA president and CEO, and Charlene Chan, HTA director of communications.

“We are thrilled to receive such a distinguished award for the recognition this brings to the success of exporting tourism and how it benefits Hawai‘i’s residents and businesses statewide,” said Szigeti. “All of Hawai‘i’s tourism industry shares in the earning of the President’s ‘E’ Award, as everyone’s collaborative efforts contributed to making this honor possible.

“For each of the past four years, more than 40% of Hawai‘i’s total visitor expenditures have been generated by international visitors,” Szigeti continued. “HTA is committed to deepening and strengthening Hawai‘i’s tourism base by continuing to expand Hawai‘i’s reach to travelers worldwide.”

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HTA was one of 123 US companies to receive the award this year. The “E” Awards are the highest recognition any US entity may receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of the country’s exports.

Criteria for the award is based on four years of successive export growth and case studies which demonstrate valuable support to exporters resulting in increased exports for the company’s clients.

President Kennedy revived the World War II “E” symbol of excellence to honor and provide recognition to America’s exporters. The “E” Award Program was established by Executive Order 10978 on Dec. 5, 1961.

US companies are nominated for the “E” Award for Export Service through the Department of Commerce’s US Commercial Service office network, located within the department’s International Trade Administration, which has offices in 108 US cities and more than 70 countries to help US exporters.

The HTA is responsible for strategically managing the State of Hawai‘i’s marketing initiatives to support tourism. HTA’s goal is to optimize tourism’s benefits for the state, while being attentive to the interests of travelers, the community and visitor industry. Established in 1998 to support Hawai‘i’s leading industry and largest employer, HTA continually strives to help ensure the sustainability of tourism’s success.

For more information about HTA, visit www.hawaiitourismauthority.org.

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