Can Farm Tours, Bird-Watchers and Storytellers Save Hawaii Tourism? … “Regenerative tourism” is the new buzz phrase. But what does it mean? And can it create goodwill for a beleaguered industry?

During the annual conference of the Hawaii Economic Association earlier this month, the first day of panels posed a big question for tourism: “Can We Make Both Residents & Visitors Happy?”

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Weighing in were business and community leaders like Denise Yamaguchi, founder of the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival; John DeFries, the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s president and chief executive; and State Rep. Richard Onishi, chairman of the Hawaii House Committee on Labor and Tourism.

Also on hand was Pauline Sheldon, a professor emerita at the University of Hawaii’s Travel Industry Management School. Sheldon’s presentation echoed one she had given just the night before at the Hawaii Book & Music Festival, on a panel titled “Transforming Hawaii Tourism.”

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