S.B. NO.














relating to tourism.





SECTION 1. The legislature finds that tourism is uniquely critical to the economy of the State and a significant generator of government revenue. However, tourism is also a potential source of intrusion onto the daily lives of residents and creates strains on state and county infrastructure and services.

Accordingly, the legislature finds that the tourism industry requires the best possible system of governance and oversight, which should include coordination with state and county agencies, private industry, and community stakeholders to ensure a balance among visitor and resident interests, while guaranteeing that there is an ultimate emphasis on protecting resident prosperity and well-being. The legislature further finds that coordination among these groups will ensure effective and collaborative approaches to long-term planning, appropriate marketing, impact mitigation and other aspects of destination management, and regular analysis of tourism's costs and benefits to the state and its residents.

The legislature recognizes that the State's economy continues to experience negative impacts from the loss of tourism that began with the unprecedented shutdown in April 2020 due to the coronavirus disease 2019. According to an October 2022 brief on tourism governance by the economic research organization at the University of Hawaii, "strong leadership from the incoming governor is essential".

Accordingly, the legislature finds that it is necessary and appropriate to establish a cabinet-level position that coordinates efforts between the tourism industry stakeholders, executive agencies, and the community. Therefore, the purpose of this Act is to establish the position of the tourism liaison officer within the office of the governor.

SECTION 2. Chapter 26, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"26-   Tourism liaison officer. (a) There is established within the office of the governor a tourism liaison officer who shall be appointed by the governor without regard to section 26-34. The tourism liaison officer shall not be subject to chapters 76 and 89.

(b) The duties of the tourism liaison officer shall include but not be limited to:

(1) Serving as the liaison of the governor with the Hawaii tourism authority; department of business, economic development, and tourism; and other public and private parties on matters relating to tourism;

(2) Advising the governor on matters relating to the State's long-term tourism strategy;

(3) Developing the administration's legislative package on measures relating to tourism;

(4) Defining and implementing performance measures for the Hawaii tourism authority;

(5) Coordinating investments that serve the tourism industry and the community at large;

(6) Establishing international relationships and strengthening existing relationships with Asia-Pacific partners; and

(7) Performing other functions to facilitate the purpose of this section.

(c) In carrying out the duties of this section, the tourism liaison officer:

(1) May utilize the services of the State's tourism agencies, including those of the Hawaii tourism authority, as appropriate; and

(2) Shall seek and utilize any available funding sources, including grant moneys."

SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2023-2024 and the same sum or so much thereof that may be necessary for fiscal year 2024-2025 for the establishment of one full-time equivalent (1.00 FTE) tourism liaison officer position within the office of the governor.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the office of the governor for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2023.














Report Title:

Tourism; Tourism Liaison Officer; Office of the Governor; Appropriation



Establishes the position of the Tourism Liaison Officer within the Office of the Governor. Makes an appropriation.




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