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For the love of the land, for the love of Hawaii - Lāhui

Tourism Campaign for the state of Hawaii

My role:

The team:

Design, Culture Strategy

Troy Fultz (Brand Manager),      Ruby Shan (Brand Manager)

The Ask:

Develop a tourism campaign that utilizes experiential marketing.

The Problem:

Millions of visitors travel to Hawaii every year to experience its beauty and hospitality. However, in addition to negatively impacting the environment and wildlife, tourists rarely interact with Hawaii responsibly. 

The Solution:

Promote Hawaii through the lens of responsible tourism through a mobile marketing tour that attracts visitors with demonstrated care for the environment.

Hawaii’s Catch-22: Hawaii has always been marketed as a “destination,” rather than a place where people live.

“When we became a state, they really started marketing Hawai’i as this paradise vacation destination. So we’re not even a normal state. We’re America’s vacation state.”
- Julia Au, Education, Research and Outreach Director of ʻĀina Momona

This has caused Hawaii to be dependent on tourist dollars, as visitors spent over $19 billion on the state in 2019. So you know now have a population that has an economy dependent on the very thing that is destroying their land. (State of Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism)

The opportunity:

Hawaiian locals have reconciled that their state’s economic survival depends on tourists. But what if there was a campaign to attract the right kind of tourists? The tourists that have respect for the land, the culture, and the Hawaiian nation?

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Lāhui is a native term that means The Hawaiian Nation. We wanted a campaign that centered on native Hawaiian voices and experiences, to encourage visitors to be considerate of these populations as they explore the land.

We’re looking for the “ethical explorer.”

They are the traveler who prefers authentic and immersive travel experiences that connect with local culture and nature. They value nature sustainability and responsible travel. And most importantly, they desire meaningful experiences and seek to create lasting memories and contribute positively to the places visited.


We found that this audience mainly resides in the Southwest region of the United States. They know how tourists can be, because they come from tourist destinations themselves, leading to an increased likelihood of personal responsibility out of empathy.

Where will we find these travelers?

At the parks they already visit.

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There are currently 84 national state parks in the Southwest region of the United States. Folks who are local to these parks are more likely to have a greater respect for nature and the land in which they visit. 

Our success criteria utilize native Hawaiian language and values for this campaign.

Kama’aina (of the land)
Create a healthy network of support for businesses that directly impact the local economy.

Mahalo (gratitude)
Attract mindful and respectful tourists to the customs and cultures of the Hawaiian people.

Mālama (care)
Educate tourists about the environmental and direct impact of their travel.

‘Ohana (family)
Make a personal connection between the Hawaiian people and prospective tourists.

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Experience Hawaii authentically (and on wheels).

We will take our mobile tour to destinations to where mindful travelers  already are. We want them to feel empowered to discover Hawaii’s natural beauty and its people, after having an empowering experience at the select national parks.

On this tour, we will educate explorers on how to be a respectful, sustainable tourist in the state while highlighting Hawaiian food and beverage brands as a free “gift” during the experience.

Not your typical tourism campaign.

In our campaign van, selected “travel educators” will drive across the Southwest to each national park. The van will park outside the park exit before guests leave the park. Guests will then be attracted to the van based on its colorful exterior and talk with individual educators about Hawaii and how to be a respectful tourist. As a gift, visitors will be able to select a food and beverage product from one of the Hawaiian brands provided by the van, with a limited edition National Parks pass available for purchase. We're hoping the personal connections made with our travel educators, as well as the knowledge, will teach behaviors that will ensure respectful tourism in Hawaii.

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The sun shines in Hawaii, and so will this campaign.

While this campaign won't eliminate typical tourists from coming to Hawaii, it alleviate some of the harmful effects tourism has had on the state. We want to create a culture of leading by example, where people will see tourists respecting Hawaii and her people and follow suit — for the love of the land, for the love of Hawaii.

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