Hawaii is gearing up its PR push as governor David Ige plans to welcome tourists back to the Aloha State on Nov. 1.

“We want to invite and encourage fully vaccinated visitors and residents to travel for business or leisure trans-Pacific and inter-island," Ige said.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority is collecting pitches to handle its $22.5M brand marketing budget to help the state rebound its tourism business that was ravaged by COVID-19.

In 2019, tourism supported 216K jobs and generated visitor spending in excess of $17.7B and $2.1B in tax revenues.

HTA estimates visitor spending plummeted to $6.3B during 2020 due to the pandemic.

The Authority floated an RFP on Oct. 5 looking for a partner firm to focus on brand marketing in the US and assist ts destination management action plan that is centered on attracting and educating responsible visitors; advocating for solutions to overcrowded attractions and overtaxed infrastructure and working with other agencies to improve natural and cultural assets valued by Hawaii residents and visitors, according to the RFP.

HTA wants marketing to focus on “mindful travelers” with higher trip expenditures.

It requires the firm to maintain the cultural integrity of the Hawaiian language, customs & practices, music, dance, historical sites and imagery in all of the marketing initiatives.

HTA plans to issue a four-year contract with the possibility of an additional extension year.