Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority extends contract with HVCB for 90 days to resolve protest
The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority announced today it has temporarily extended its current contract with the Hawaiʻi Visitors and Convention Bureau.
The extension is for 90 days until Sept. 28, to “provide adequate time to resolve the current protest,” according to Department of Business and Economic Development and Tourism Director, Mike McCartney.
The RFP 22-01 contract covers areas of brand management and visitor education services for the US market, as well as support services shared by Hawaiʻi’s brand management teams worldwide.
“The Hawaiian Islands are in the middle of the busy summer travel season and planning needs to be done for the upcoming fall period,” said McCartney, saying he determined, with the concurrence with the State’s Chief Procurement Officer, that it is “advantageous for the state to extend the current US MMA contract with Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau.”
The three-month extensions of the two contracts, for US market brand management ($4,250,000) and global support services ($375,000), continue the current level of services, according to McCartney.
“After conferring with HTA President & CEO John De Fries, we agreed that granting this extension is in the best interest of our State and creates the necessary timeframe within which the protest can be resolved,” he said, noting that the “ultimate goal is to provide for a fair and smooth transition in which the best partner for HTA is found.”
The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement was selected by HTA earlier this month for the new contract going forward. The multi-year contract was initially scheduled to commence on June 30, 2022, and end on Dec. 31, 2024, with HTA having the option to extend the agreement for an additional two years.
Kūhiō Lewis, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement Chief Executive Officer responded saying the CNHA is aware of the temporary extension on the current contract for marketing services for the United States Major Market Area.
“We understand and respect the integrity of the contract procurement process that HTA is still working through,” said Lewis in a statement.
“During this time, we will continue to move forward with our planning which includes engaging the expertise and knowledge of the Kilohana Collective partners as well as our transition team members that we recently announced. In addition, there has been a great deal of interest expressed by members of the tourism industry and the community-at-large in supporting and participating in the efforts of CNHA and the Kilohana Collective and we look forward to that engagement as well,” said Lewis.
“We understand the enormous task ahead and that change is difficult. We stand ready to work with HTA, HVCB, the visitor industry, and, most importantly, the people of Hawai‘i to promote a healthy future for our state’s chief economic driver by supporting HTA’s vision of a new, regenerative model of tourism,” he said.