The purpose of this assessment is not only to introduce the possibility of stimulating the local economy (CBED) more effectively, but to also provide a strong option for the rejuvenation of the Hawaiian culture. Because tourism is the main source of revenue in Hawaiʻi, it can be concluded that people all over the world recognize this predicament and come here for jobs in the tourism industry. Those who are hired are not always familiar with the Hawaiian culture and are just here for a job. This often results in a Western interpretation of what Hawaiʻi is due to the lack of knowledge of the local culture. By simply encouraging employees to familiarize themselves with the culture, more local residents will naturally be inclined to apply for these jobs and both the culture and the local economy (CBED) will benefit from this change. Community-based Economic Development (CBED) is the main topic that this memo will be exploring. Current successes in Hawaiʻi will be examined and
compared to the less successful companies in order to reveal working tactics that can be applied throughout the whole industry. By doing so, a happy median can be reached between the growth of Hawaiian culture and the stimulation of the local economy (CBED). Appealing to the traditional Hawaiian practices and ideology rather than the generic mindset of Hawaiʻi, Community-based Economic Development will flourish.
DISNEY AULANI RESORT AND SPA
Background Information of the Resort in Kapolei, HI
Opening in August of 2011, this branch of Disney provides “… a great parallel between the Hawaiian culture and the Disney culture.” The 21 acre resort comes equipped with 481 villas, 359 hotel accommodations, an 18,000 sq. ft. spa, and various outdoor activities including horseback riding, dolphin tours, and snorkeling.1 But aside from the obvious, it is the little details that make this resort stand out amongst the others in Hawaiʻi. First off, the standards that are required of aspiring employees are much different than usual. Employee, Aukai Kekoa, said, “Of course they are looking for employees with
great hospitality and experience in the field, but it was my background in Hawaiian culture that actually got me the job.” The aesthetic precision is remarkable because not only does it make this resort visually beautiful, but it also embraces the culture and gives it cultural beauty as well. Employees and guest alike agree that the Disney Aulani Resort and Spa is a magical resort, embracing not just the Disney culture, but the Hawaiian culture as well.
CULTURAL IMPACT ON TOURISTS
An Observation of Why Tourists Come to Hawaiʻi
A handful of tourists in both Waikiki and Koʻolina were surveyed in order to examine how important a cultural experience is to tourists. This survey is necessary in order to gage crucial factors as to why tourists come to Hawaiʻi and if the culture plays a role in their stay. Some important questions that were asked are:
Is this your first time to Hawaiʻi?
What did you come here to experience?
Do you have any knowledge of Hawaiian culture?
Do you hope to have a cultural experience before departing?
The results seemed to revolve around whether or not it was their first time to Hawaiʻi. A majority of first timers stated that they had no prior knowledge of the culture, but hoped to have some kind of cultural experience before leaving. John Harrison, a guest at the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort, said, “If I just wanted to go to the beach, I would have stayed in California. I came to Hawaiʻi for a unique experience that I can’t get anywhere else.” However, most tourists that have been to Hawaiʻi before claim that they came to Hawaiʻi just to relax and go on vacation. These tourists also stated that a cultural experience wasn’t necessarily important to them, but they wouldn’t deny it if the opportunity was available to them.
COMPARISON OF EMPLOYEES FROM