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Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association Launches “Hotels for Healthcare Heroes”

Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea, Maui. Photo courtesy of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.

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. 

“[Healthcare workers] do need some time away from all of these trials and tribulations…The way our policies have been set across the state regarding visitation, these people have really become the consolers of our people who are very sick. We need to honor them…More than one-third of Maui hotels have already stepped up to the plate to provide some really needed rest for our frontline heroes.” – Maui Mayor Michael Victorino

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.

“Our medical teams are exhausted. We’ve had more than 3,500 hospitalizations and more than 633 of our loved ones have passed away. [The pandemic] takes its toll physically and mentally on our medical teams around the state. This opportunity will be terrific for our people to recover from the mental strain and spend quality time with their families.” – Lieutenant Governor Josh Green

Original source: https://mauinow.com/2021/09/09/hawaii-lodging-tourism-association-launches-hotels-for-healthcare-heroes/

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