HONOLULU – Duke Aiona and Lynn Finnegan today announced that the Board of Directors of the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association (MHLA) has endorsed their campaign for Governor and Lt. Governor of Hawai‘i.
“I am pleased that MHLA’s Board of Directors has taken this action to publicly endorse Duke Aiona and Lynn Finnegan,” said MHLA Executive Director Carol Reimann. “The visitor industry is the largest employer of Maui County residents and we must have government cognizant of the industry’s needs.”
As tourism is an economic driver for Maui County, the industry is supporting elected officials who understand the importance of nurturing the businesses that directly provide jobs for nearly 40 percent of Maui residents and bring in over $3 billion in spending to Maui’s economy each year.
"I know what the visitor industry needs to grow and be successful," said Duke Aiona. "We don't need another fancy speech or partisan talking points. Our citizens want a Governor who listens and is willing to take a stand. Government doesn't create the jobs that fuel our economy over the long term, but an Aiona-Finnegan Administration will make it easier for those who do create jobs."
The Maui Hotel & Lodging Association comprises hotels, timeshares, resort condominiums and allied businesses. MHLA members employ over 10,000 Maui residents.
An Aiona-Finnegan Administration will work to retain and expand visitor industry jobs by proposing increases in tourism marketing funding to proactively attract visitors from existing high-penetration/high-return markets on the U.S. Mainland and the Asia-Pacific region. Duke and Lynn will also continue to include a cabinet-level state tourism liaison to maintain and increase airline seat capacity to Hawai‘i, and will work directly with federal officials to allow travel directly to Hawai‘i and expedite the processing of visas for visitors from non-visa waiver countries.
The Maui Hotel & Lodging Association is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1987 to advocate for the visitor industry. MHLA represents Maui County’s visitor industry on policymaking and industry-related issues on the county and state government levels, and serves as the industry’s liaison to the general public.