The Hoʻomāhua initiative

Harnessing Smart, Regenerative, Community-Based Tourism to create thriving communities

OUR VISION to create a thriving community


28APR22: County Council Members Shane Sinenci, Kelly King, and Tamara Paltin set aside funds to launch a pilot project of the Smart Tourism system! In total $85k has been slated for FY23 in the budget but still must pass a vote. Funds projected - $10k East Maui, $25k South Maui, $50k West Maui. Project sites are being identified and consultations are underway!

21MAR22: After months of hard work to apply for County funds for a grant writer to apply for the EDA ARPA grant, we, unfortunately, lost too much time and must wait for the next round of funding. In the meantime, we will work to identify a pilot project that can help in proving the concept of Smart Tourism to better our community.

16NOV21: The Ohana Ekolu team met with Maui Mayor Victorino where he pledged his support for the Initiative! We will be working with his staff members and applying for a grant with the county to hire a grant writer so that we can apply for the EDA ARPA Indigenous Community grant! Partners In Development Foundation (PIDF) will come on board as the project fiscal sponsor.

05NOV21: The Maui County Council unanimously adopts CR21-97 supporting the implementation of The Hoʻomāhua Initiative


To increase, expand, enlarge, multiply, grow.

Hoʻomāhua i kona waiwai, to increase its value, wealth.



  1. Public Support & Testimony-We need community support in favor of our initiative! 1st reading May 26th, 2nd June 8th public hearing May 13th. A link will be made available to provide your support in testimony. Mahalo!



Click Image to read resolution 21-170

resolution passes FULL COUNCIL VOTE!

On Friday, November 5, 2021, The Maui County Council voted unanimously to pass CR21-97, the County Resolution in support of The Hoʻomāhua Initiative!

We would like to thank the guidance of Councilmembers Kelly King and Shane Sinenci in the process to make this happen. We would like to especially acknowledge past Councilmember Elle Cochran who during her term prepared the way four years ago so that a proposal like ours may be approved. Elle has been a great supporter and stakeholder of The Hoʻomāhua Initiative as well.

resolution passes CARE committee

On Wednesday, September 29, 2021 The Maui County Council's Climate Action, Resilience, and Environment Committee (CARE) Chair Councilmember Kelly King invited Ohana Ekolu LLC to formally present The Hoʻomāhua Initiative to the committee and drafted a resolution from the committee urging Mayor Michael Victorino to support the initiative.

After receiving public testimony and presentation, the committee than deliberated the resolution and voted 7-0 in unanimous support of the resolution "Urging Mayor Michael Victorino to support The Hoʻomāhua Initiative".

invitation to address the maui county council care committee



  • Perpetuate Native Hawaiian culture, create Native Hawaiian economic opportunities, and grow a Hawaiʻi circular economy.


  • Harnessing Smart, Regenerative Tourism to create thriving communities


  • Delivering Smart Tourism™ solutions with community, nonprofit, business, and government stakeholders.

Smart Tourism?

Smart Tourism™ is a blending of web and mobile applications featuring software using artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Geographic Information System Mapping (GIS) for use in software development, machine learning, and spatial and location recognition for the tourism industry.

In short, Smart Tourism™ is a holistic data-driven concept built on proven technology delivering a tool connecting tourists to the community.

regenerative Tourism?

Regenerative Tourism is the positive contributions made by tourists while vacationing. It is a relationship where tourists volunteer and make purchasing decisions to support indigenous communities and locally owned businesses that contributes to the cultural perpetuation, beautification, and resources of an area.

Circular economy?

A circular economy is when money stays in Hawaiʻi and circulates within the community going from tourists and flowing in a circle between local businesses and residents.

By keeping money in Hawaiʻi and shopping locally owned businesses, more wealth will stay home creating opportunities for creative growth, jobs, and prosperity to areas.

data-driven solutions?

Objective data is trustworthy, transparent, and unbiased. It provides the intelligence required for planners and decision-makers to make relevant and timely decisions that address needs within communities and enables pro-active solutions.



# Objectives: Defines the goals with intended outcomes

Measures: Quantitive or qualitative measures to define the objectives and evolve based on resources

advance native hawaiian economic resiliency

Objectives & Measures

  1. Encourage and support Kanaka Maoli-Native Hawaiians to economically benefit from the tourism industry

    • Increase the number of Kanaka Maoli owned businesses marketed to tourists through the web, social media, and Smart Tourism™ app.

    • Increase business literacy and business support services for established Kanaka Maoli owned businesses.

    • Increase the number of community or ahupuaʻa related events that connect tourists to cultural experts and authentic cultural experiences.

    • Increase the number of existing Kanaka Maoli owned businesses

    • Increase the number of sold items produced by Kanaka Maoli owned businesses

perpetuatE native hawaiian culture

Objectives & Measures

  1. Ensure Kanaka Maoli youth see their culture as valued and encourage cultural growth

    • Increase the number of Native Hawaiian youth participating in perpetuating their cultural heritage as a result of benefit from tourists participation in regenerative tourism and purchasing local

    • Increased promotion of ʻōlelo ʻōiwi-Native Hawaiian language through events, promotions, and marketing

    • Increase the number of all youth and residents participating in activities that perpetuate the Native Hawaiian culture

  2. Provide meaningful, engaging educational content for authentic cultural learning

    • Increase the number of visitors who appreciate authentic Native Hawaiian culture

  • Increased the number of residents who feel a deeper connection to Hawaiʻi from learning about their communities

improve Tourism management & community planning

Objectives & Measures

  1. Establish the world's first Smart Tourism™ real-time data holistic approach to effectively manage tourism and resources

    • Establish Smart Tourism™ sites across the islands to report real-time data in partnership with community stakeholders

    • Decrease the number of persons congesting hotspots

    • Decrease the burden on community resources from tourist overcrowding

    • Increase the number of persons using the Smart Tourism™ app to understand real-time conditions

  2. Empower decision-makers to address community needs based on objective data

    • Work with government planners and decision-makers to support their work with intelligence gathered by the Smart Tourism™ network

  3. Increase Public Safety

    • Provide access to the Smart Tourism™ network to public media outlets that are able to share real-time conditions of congested or full areas

    • Provide data identifying the number of vehicles, people, vessels, animals, and shoreline marine life that have traveled within a given area

grow THE hawaiʻi circular economy

Objectives & Measures

  1. Connect tourists directly to (Kanaka Maoli owned and Hawaiʻi domestic owned) - "local" businesses

    • Increase the number of local businesses marketed to tourists through the web, social media, and Smart Tourism™ app.

    • Increase the number of tourists and residents visiting local businesses

  2. Promote the growth of the circular economy

    • Increase the number of local businesses purchasing from other local businesses

    • Increase the number of products for sale through the app and internet from local businesses

positively impact communities

Objectives & Measures

  1. Support nonprofit and community-serving organizations with resources

    • Increase donations to nonprofits and community-serving entities that facilitate volunteer opportunities through the web, social media, and Smart Tourism™ app

  2. Grow Regenerative Tourism opportunities

  • Establish a network of stakeholders offering volunteer opportunities that can be reserved through the Smart Tourism™ app

  • Increase number of tourists participating in volunteer activities perpetuating the Native Hawaiian culture

  • Increase the number of visitors who form a meaningful connection with the Native Hawaiian community

  • Increase the number of residents who appreciate tourists participating to care for their community


5 phase plan to launch and grow the initiative.


Support Phase

Objective: Gain support and necessary stakeholders to develop the initiative.

Purpose: Build a team of stakeholders and grow support to launch the initiative and strive for the vision of harnessing smart, regenerative tourism to create thriving communities.


In Progress

  • TASK 4. Gain Public Support. SEP 29, 2021: On this day, a presentation will be made to the Maui County Council, Climate Action, Resilience, and Environment (CARE) Committee where Ohana Ekolu LLC on behalf of all Hoʻomāhua Initiative stakeholders will formally present the plan to gain public support. Our goal is to receive a resolution of support from the County Council that will enable us to apply for Federal grant funding and to receive funds of up to $45k that will enable us to hire a grant writer, gather data for grant applications, and launch the initiative with Smart Tourism™ technology at Honolua Ahupuaʻa.

  • Breakdown of anticipated expenses related to the request of $45k

    • $15K: Professional grant writer services for the EDA ARPA Indigenous Communities grant

    • $25K: Installment of Smart Tourism™ technology at Honolua Bay to monitor vehicular, human, and maritime traffic

    • $5K: Support funds for the establishment of an education app and education tables at the Honolua Ahupuaʻa to continue the work previously started by the Save Honolua Coalition and Makai watch providing visitor education and volunteer opportunities to the area.


  • TASK 1. Ideation & Team Building. JUL 12-AUG 2021: With an inspired vision of how Ohana Ekolu can address the need of tourism management in Hawaiʻi, they brought together industry leaders in the LiDAR, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Geographic Information System Mapping (GIS) space and brought to light the concept of Smart Tourism™.

  • TASK 2. Live Demos and Presentations. Aug 17-18, 2021: We conducted live Smart Tourism™ presentations at Twin Falls, Maui, and the Hawaiʻi Convention Center's Executive Board Room A. Participating were representatives from the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA), Maui Visitors & Conventions Bureau (MVCB), Maui Airport, and HI Department of Transportation (HIDOT).

  • TASK 3. Grow initial Stakeholders. AUG-SEP, 2021: Throughout this time we held meetings at key locations in which we sought to launch the initiative, East Maui and Honolua. The Ohana who manage Twin Falls were especially generous to allow us to conduct live demonstrations from their area where we were able to count over 300 vehicles entering East Maui from 8-9 AM on that day! The Honolua community members expressed favorable interest and shared the immediate need to understand how high levels of visitors are impacting their area. Talks resulted in forming a plan to launch the concept of The Hoʻomāhua Initiative at Honolua where we look to develop a modular and scalable plan that can be replicated to support other communities.


Research Phase

Objective: Gather research necessary to strengthen grant applications and gain support for the initiative.

Purpose: Continue the work started by Save Honolua Coalition and Makai Watch to educate visitors on the marine preserve, flora and fauna, area history, and Kanaka Maoli-Native Hawaiian culture. We will look to identify best practices in order to replicate our success in other areas.

Task 1: Start initiative at Honolua Ahupuaʻa with two education tables at the entrance and shoreline of Honolua Bay.

Education Table:

  1. Educate visitors to the Honolua ahupuaʻa:

    • Provide learning tablets for visitors to take a self walking tour of the Honolua trail leading to the shoreline.

    • Answer questions visitors might have

    • Provide cultural activities and workshops

  2. Conduct surveys to identify key points of the Hoʻomāhua Initiative:

    • The number of tourists who will use an app with real-time data to make vacation decisions.

    • The number of tourists interested in learning Native Hawaiian culture.

    • The number of tourists who would pay to participate in activities with Native Hawaiians.

    • The number of tourists who would volunteer to do regenerative tourism.

    • The number of tourists who would buy locally to support a circular economy.

  3. Beta test learning app key features:

    • GPS Audio walking tour

    • Educational Story Maps

    • Surveys

    • Engage visitors with links for donation, volunteer, & activities

  4. Data gathering with Smart Tourism™ technology:

    • Operate IoT devices to account for the traffic of people, vehicles, and vessels to the area.

    • Test real-time data capabilities in a remote environment

    • Identify best practices to transmit data

Compile & Report

  • Data shall be put into a dashboard for public viewing on the website.

develop phase

Objective: Develop the required partnerships and logistics necessary to launch and sustain the initiative.

Purpose: Enable a successful launch and sustainment of the initiative through adequate funding, in-kind donations, and volunteer services.

Task 1: Apply for the EDA ARPA Indigenous Community grant, additional grant opportunities, and conduct donation campaigns.


  1. EDA ARPA Indigenous Community Grant:

    • Work with a grant writer to apply for this extensive grant

    • Idenfity a fiscal sponsor with the capacity to apply for the grant.

  2. HTA Grant through Hawaii Community Foundation:

    • Apply through HCF for the HTA grant.

  3. Additional Grants:

    • Continue to seek additional grant funding as identified needs are established.

  4. Donation Campaign & Activities:

    • Develop and launch a donation campaign through Nā Mea ʻIke ʻIa to support the initiative.

    • Identify key fundraising activities to sustain the initiative.



IMPLEMENT: With funding and resources, deliver on the goals, objectives, and measures.


Grow phase

GROW: Sustain and expand initiative with grants, donations, and revenue generation in partnership with nonprofits, businesses, and government.




A 501(c)(3) Native Hawaiian serving, youth development nonprofit organization. NMII has taken the lead to develop the initiative and work with stakeholders to see it through.



Formed to protect Honolua and preserve its natural resources. SHC was successful in its key goal to establish the area as a preserve.




Hawaiian Islands Professional Pannel of Experts providing financial and business literacy



The Kanaka Economic Development Alliance is formed to grow relationships between Native Hawaiian businesses and resources to grow their business. KEDA features a valuable searchable website for the public to easily find Native Hawaiian businesses.




Provider of Smart Tourism™ services and technology


bay park data solutions

Our app development partner with over 30 years of experience in the GIS field and is an official Esri Nonprofit service provider.