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The Kahala Hotel & Resort has a genuine win-win for visitors. The Kahala Initiative for Sustainability, Culture and the Arts (KISCA) program supports deeply rooted places and practices on Oahu that matter greatly to islanders. And, by opting in, guests enjoy free or discounted rates on cultural and environmental experiences around the island while getting the satisfaction of knowing they’re making a difference in the destination and its future. Plus, the cost to opt in is just $8 per night.
“The Kahala has been part of the community for 55 years,” said Joe Ibarra, general manager of the resort. “We believe our legacy is driven by a responsibility to share authentic Hawaiian experiences with our guests, support cultural and environmental preservation, and move toward a more sustainable future for Hawaii.”
One of KISCA’s main goals is to plant 200,000 endemic Hawaiian milo trees in the Kahala Legacy Forest on Oahu’s North Shore; more than 5,000 trees have been planted so far. Clients who are particularly interested in this cause can make an extra contribution and dedicate a legacy tree to a loved one. They can even arrange to visit the forest and plant the tree themselves.
Participants in the program also have exclusive opportunities to create meaningful Oahu memories. For instance, they receive complimentary entry to two treasured establishments — Bishop Museum and Doris Duke’s Shangri La — as well as discounted guided tours of Iolani Palace. Additionally, they are entitled to reduced rates on land and sea activities with eco-oriented companies such as Hololea Tours, Agritourism Hawaii, Bike Hawaii and Hawaii Forest & Trail.
KISCA connects guests with immersive voluntourism efforts on the island, as well. Options include helping to restore a 400-year-old Hawaiian fishpond, caring for native forests and lending a hand at a taro patch.
“Many visitors have become more aware of their footprint, putting their dollars where their values are,” Ibarra said. “Our guests who participate in KISCA are conscientious, inquisitive and ready to explore our island, not just as visitors, but as partners helping to protect our land and culture.”
On-property, meanwhile, clients can partake in an array of enriching pastimes as part of KISCA. Employees of The Kahala share the history of the area, local traditions, tales of Hawaiian monarchs and fascinating legends and lore. They engage people in a variety of interactive programs that reflect the island lifestyle, such as lei-making and storytelling. What’s more, KISCA participants receive two $50 credits for Hawaii-inspired treatments at the resort’s spa.
Since KISCA made its debut in 2018, it has raised more than $450,000 for community projects. As it continues in 2020, Ibarra hopes to expand KISCA’s partnerships and beneficiaries. Clearly, this is an initiative that illustrates the joy of giving as well as receiving.
“By being a part of KISCA, guests can return home with a better understanding of Hawaiian culture,” Ibarra said. “And they’ll know they made a positive impact.”
The DetailsThe Kahala Hotel & Resortwww.kahalaresort.com