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HTA to split their U.S. contract bid into 2 amid ongoing deliberation

OGG Baggage Claim 01 kahului airport Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority
Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority
Kahului Airport on Maui

Members of the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority Board of Directors discussed the authority's procurement protocols, and its next steps to award its U.S. market management contract on Thursday.

Hawaiʻi Visitors and Convention Bureau CEO John Monahan testified that the best way forward was to issue two Request For Proposals, mirroring the previous agreement.

The HTA board approved issuing two RFPs, and plans to extend HVCB's contract for marketing services beyond March.

This comes after former Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism Director Mike McCartney canceled the award given to the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement earlier this month. HVCB and CNHA have been locked in a protest over the HTA's request for proposals for the U.S. contract.

Both HVCB and CNHA reached an agreement with McCartney in October. HVCB would handle the U.S. marketing and CNHA would handle destination management and community relations.

However, missteps in the procurement process called into question the award’s transparency and fairness.

CNHA executive director Kūhiō Lewis told board members his organization is still committed – but requested the process be fair and equitable.

Casey Harlow is an HPR reporter and occasionally fills in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Contact him at or on Twitter (@CaseyHarlow).
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