The Nui Holomua Business Fest will explore native-led tourism

Registration is open for the 2017 Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce’s 11th annual Hui Holomua Business Fest on Oct. 11. This year’s conference theme was selected by MNHCoC members, and it explores the new federal Native American Tourism and Improving Visitor Experience Act and its potential to expand local tourism, spur economic growth and authentically educate visitors about native culture and history.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz will be the keynote speaker and he will address this year’s theme, “Ka ‘Ikena Oiwi: Native Wisdom,” and the importance of native-led tourism. He will be joined by Native American speaker Ben Sherman, chairman of the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance; Native Alaskan speaker Celeste Ferguson, executive director of the American Indian and Alaska Native Tourism Association; and Native Hawaiian speaker Ramsay Taum, founder of Life Enhancement Institute of the Pacific. State Sen. Brickwood Galuteria will offer opening remarks about the potential for indigenous tourism programs to increase Native Hawaiian well-being.

Schatz and this year’s guest speakers will share their thoughts, experience and expertise in the indigenous tourism sector. The Native American Tourism and Improving Visitor Experience Act, or NATIVE Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Schatz, a Democrat, and John Thune, R-S.D., was enacted last September and aims to enhance and integrate native tourism, empower native communities and expand the nation’s unique cultural tourism opportunities.

The annual MNHCoC Biz Fest has become Maui’s largest networking event for those who guide and manage their businesses with Hawaiian cultural values, according to an announcement.

The conference will run from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 11 at the King Kamehameha Golf Club in Waikapu. Admission for the morning sessions and speakers is free. The cost for the noon luncheon and keynote session is $75 for MNHCoC members and $85 for nonmembers.

To RSVP and register, visit www.mnhcoc.org. Information about sponsorship opportunities and vendor applications can be found on the website.

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