STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1012
RE: H.B. No. 1763
Honorable Colleen Hanabusa
President of the Senate
Twenty-Fifth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2009
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Tourism, to which was referred H.B. No. 1763, H.D. 2, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE HAWAII TOURISM AUTHORITY,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to replace the Hawaii Tourism Authority with a new Department of Tourism.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Mayor of Honolulu. Testimony in opposition was received from the Department of Budget and Finance; Hawai‘i Tourism Authority; State Tourism Liaison; Hawai‘i Hotel & Lodging Association; Outrigger Hotels; The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii; Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort & Spa; Maui Hotel & Lodging Association; Destination Resorts Hawaii; and Hilton Hawaii. Written testimony presented to the Committee may be reviewed on the Legislature's website.
Under this measure, the Department of Tourism would have general charge, oversight, and care of tourism and related activities in the State. The objective of the Department is to promote activities that support, maintain, and expand the State's domestic and international travel market, endeavoring to generate increased visitor expenditures, tax revenue, and employment.
Your Committee finds that the Hawaii tourism industry merits the status of an executive department, to reflect the priority the State places on tourism as an economic engine. A Department of Tourism would be able to maneuver through difficult times such as the current recession and past economic downturns by its ability to react quickly to problems and its flexibility to create programs that address the needs of the industry and the market.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Changing the effective date to July 1, 2050, to continue the discussions on this matter; and
(2) Making a technical, nonsubstantive amendment for the purpose of clarity.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Tourism that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1763, H.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1763, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Tourism,
CLARENCE K. NISHIHARA, Chair