Hotels Will Offer You A Free Night’s Stay In Exchange For This | #vacation | #seniors | #elderly
Many destinations are trying to reimagine themselves post-Covid. Perhaps none more so than Hawaii.
After being closed down to visitors for the entire summer, Hawaii reopened with a pre-arrival testing program on October 15th. Now, about a month later, they’ve announced the new direction of the State’s tourism plan, known as “Malama Hawaii,” that aims to bring a different kind of traveler to the islands.
“Malama Hawaii is more than a promotion or campaign, it’s the direction in which our brand is headed,” said Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau President and CEO John Monahan. “Our goal is to attract mindful visitors who will leave Hawaii better than when they arrived. By doing so, visitors will experience a deeper connection and a vacation that really becomes more meaningful to them.”
A New Kind of Visitor
The relationship between locals and visitors in Hawaii has always been sensitive.
In a nutshell, the argument historically has been that there’s just too many visitors (approximately 10 million a year before the pandemic), and the massive footprint of those collective visitors usually disrupts local life in some way, be it traffic, crowded beaches, trash, reef damage, etc.
The old adage is that tourists come to Hawaii and simply “take,” treating the islands like their own personal amusement park instead of the living, breathing, complex, cultural destination it is.
The Malama Hawaii Program was created “in an effort to inspire mindful travel” and to encourage visitors to participate in a volunteer program during their trip. The idea is that by making a positive impact, a visitor will have a more enriching travel experience that will stick with them, and the local population will see added benefits of tourism – namely, places being left better than they were found.
Give Some Time And Get A Free Night’s Stay
Here’s how it works:
The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau has partnered with hotels around the islands to offer packages that include one free night of lodging as well as a volunteer experience for a local nonprofit. Each hotel has a different package that supports different nonprofits.
For example, volunteer projects include reforestation, tree planting, beach cleanups, ocean reef preservation, and even more creative endeavors, like making quilts for the elderly. In exchange for their time, visitors get a free night’s stay (and sometimes extra perks, like free breakfast) at the hotel.
Right now, about three dozen hotels across four islands are participating in Malama Hawaii, and each package is unique. For example, at the Alohilani Resort, the package offers the 5th night free as well as a free luxury car rental and $200 resort credit in exchange for some volunteer tree planting. At the Outrigger Waikiki, you get a third night free for participating in a 2-hour eco-program at Kualoa Ranch.
Be sure to poke around and take a good look at these deals. In some cases, you may not save money on the free night, because the room rate attached to the package is higher than the standard rate. This is often offset by resort/dining credits or other perks (like the car rental above), but make sure you read the fine print.
In any event, even if you just break even, the Malama Hawaii packages are a great incentive for visitors to push beyond the standard points of interest and get more meaning and purpose out of their trip. It’s a nice step for Hawaii, and a big opportunity for travelers.