Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association Launches “Hotels for Healthcare Heroes”
* Updated September 11, 7:18 AM
The Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association announced today a new program to provide two-night staycations for local doctors, nurses, and clinical staff who are working through the recent surge of new COVID-19 cases in the islands. The “Hotels for Healthcare Heroes” program is being facilitated in partnership with Healthcare Association of Hawai‘i and is made possible through donations of room nights by hotel properties around the state.
“We really believe that this program will go a long way in showing our appreciation to a group of medical professionals who are working day and night to get us to a better place,” said HLTA President & CEO Mufi Hannemann. “The hospitality industry has taken this responsibility very seriously and are doing all we can to be a part of the solution as our community works to combat COVID-19.”
The local hospitality trade association previously partnered with the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and the Hawai‘i Visitors & Convention Bureau to launch “Hotels for Heroes” last year. The original hotel stay program utilized State funds to host doctors, nurses, first responders, and other essential workers at local hotels. The costs of the new program are being shouldered completely by the various properties that have agreed to participate.
“Hotels for Healthcare Heroes” will begin on the weekend of September 17th and will run on consecutive weekends through the end of October. Participants will be selected through hospital administrators who will work directly with HLTA and HAH to make reservations.
Rod Antone, Executive Director of the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association said more than a dozen properties on Maui have already agreed to participate in the program.
“Thank you so much to the tourism industry for the way it has come together to recognize these true heroes in our community. The respite you are offering to our staff is highly valued and appreciated, but what is also is important is the recognition of the work done by these heroes day in and day out,” said Healthcare Association of Hawai‘i President & CEO Hilton Raethel.
Hannemann thanked the more than 50 individual hotels around the state that have agreed to participate in the program thus far and noted that more are in the process of signing up because the entire industry “is eager to show our gratitude for these amazing men and women—many of whom have been working tirelessly since early last year to keep our community healthy and safe.”
Hannemann also acknowledged the strong support from Lt. Gov. Green, who encouraged HLTA to reboot the “Hotels for Heroes” program, and the enthusiastic support of all four county mayors for the initiative.