A New Name And Broader Focus

The Hawaii Hotel & Lodging Association’s annual general membership meeting, held recently at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel on the Big Island, provided substance to match the promising signs of a healthy visitor industry.

One of the first orders of business was the renaming of the organization to the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association.

The change was approved by the membership and will be effective Oct. 1. The association also modified its logo and color. This new name, the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association, more accurately reflects the membership of our organization.

At the time we were founded in 1947, the association consisted of 16 hotels. Today, we have a diverse membership of more than 500 hotels, condominiums, time-shares, travel and transportation firms, suppliers and related businesses and individuals representing local, national and international companies.

The Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association will continue its emphasis on lodging, as we’ve done during our advocacy before the county, state and federal governments and in our relations with other business and trade groups.

But the name change also is an indication of our plans to expand our membership and continue to serve as a strong, effective voice for the visitor industry.

Says Kelvin Bloom, HLTA chairman and president of Aston Hotels & Resorts: “We believe our new name not only conveys the broad interests of our association, but our desire to reach out to businesses and individuals who share our goals, and to bring us together for the good of the travel and tourism industry, our economy and our community.”

In addition to serving as a voice for the visitor industry, the HLTA sponsors scholarships for high school students, provides funding for local charities through its annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk, and works closely with teachers and students through internships and academic programs. HLTA members, meanwhile, enjoy discounted rates at local member hotels, tours, car rentals and many other services or products provided by businesses affiliated with the association.

The beautiful Hapuna Beach setting for our general membership meeting offered the perfect backdrop for the rebirth of the HLTA’s Hawaii Island chapter, which had been quiet for a while. Under the leadership of Chris Luedi and Paul Horner, we can expect an active organization and calendar of events. Leudi is regional vice president and general manager of the Fairmont Orchid Hawaii and Paul is the general manager of Sheraton Keauhou Beach Resort.

The HLTA, which is the largest visitor industry trade group in Hawaii, is a partner association of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. That’s worth noting because the AHLA is the largest trade organization of its kind in the world. It’s a nationwide federation of 52 state and city lodging associations (New York City and Washington, D.C., are the cities) and represents more than 1.5 million rooms in the United States. Members range from economy hotels to five-star resorts.

Erin Bustillos

These developments on the national and international scenes bode very well for the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association’s members, our visitor industry, and our economy.

Erin Bustillos

Position: Bartender
Location: Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club

Enthusiastic and energetic are two common descriptions of Erin Bustillos, a Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club bartender and mother of three.

Erin’s personality and drive, combined with her knowledge of the goals of the hotel and her responsibilities, motivate her to provide exceptional service to guests, participate in hotel and department activities, work closely with co-workers and help to foster a strong team spirit.

Guests continue to praise her for her professionalism, remarking about her ability to remember their names and suggest food and beverage items they might enjoy. In fact, many guests seek her out and have adopted her into their families.

Erin is active in the lives of her children, volunteering for school activities as well as the Visitor Industry Charity Walk and Kaua’i United Way.