For the last 25 years, STAH has worked to create a travel industry in balance with Hawaii’s natural resources, local communities and cultural resources, while helping visitors to become “Pono Travelers.” 

The MISSION of the Sustainable Tourism Association of Hawaii (STAH) is to protect Hawaii’s unique natural environment and host culture through the promotion of responsible travel and educational programs relating to sustainable tourism for residents, businesses and visitors.

Why is it important?

While everyone enjoys Hawaii, we cannot ignore the impact that our tourism habits can have on the Hawaiian people and their culture. We must make a conscious effort to travel in the most responsible and sustainable ways and support these communities rather than negatively impact them. For over 25 years the Sustainable Tourism Association of Hawaii has promoted sustainable tourism through innovative initiatives and educational programs aimed at protecting Hawaii’s natural and cultural resources. 

How do they do it?
  • The Hawaii Certified Sustainable Tour Operator program is the only third-party sustainable tourism certification in the U.S. The program has grown to over 40 tour operators across four islands. Operators must be open to workforce development, staff training, authentic experiences, and environmental protection. 

  • Their “Pono Traveler” program consists of community members, visitors, and employees of tour operators who participate as “secret shoppers” to evaluate authenticity, quality of programs and information, safety, and overall enjoyableness. These volunteers provide valuable feedback to tour operators from the perspective of a sustainability-minded traveler. 

  • With education and outreach programs, STAH works to develop educational and outreach programs that provide tools to the tourism industry, educates visitors and supports community awareness. 

How you can #TravelKindly: 
  • Choose The Sustainable Tourism Association of Hawaii as your local charity when you book with Kind Traveler.

  • Travelers to Hawaii can start by booking sustainable adventures through STAH’s list of certified tour companies

  • Learn how you can become a “pono traveler” while visiting the islands 

  • Check the STAH travel planner to find sustainable activities & tours

  • Check some of STAH’s plastic-free travel tips

  • If you’re inspired by STAH’s mission, then you can become a member or spread the word through your social media channels and follow to stay updated. 

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