Say “aloha” to a free night in Hawaii – for a good cause.
Travelers can lend a helping hand and volunteer in the Aloha State to receive a free, extra night at various hotels through a new program, the state tourism board has announced.
The program, called Mālama Hawai‘i, encourages visitors to “take a trip that gives back.” Tourists can volunteer for projects ranging from tree planting and reforestation to beach cleanups, ocean reef preservation and even making Hawaiian quilts for the elderly.
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In exchange, tourists can receive a complimentary extra night at participating hotels across Kauai, Maui, Oahu and the Big Island. The list includes Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea; The Ritz-Carlton Residences at Waikiki Beach; the Fairmont Orchid in the Big Island of Hawaii and the Sheraton Kauai Resort.
Alaska Airlines is also involved in the “voluntourism” effort, planting one tree for each flight the carrier makes to Hawaii through the end of the year, per a blog post.
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The program debuts on the heels of Hawaii recently relaxing its travel restrictions for out-of-state visitors amid the pandemic. Last month, the Aloha State launched its long-awaited pre-travel testing program, allowing travelers to skip a 14-day quarantine requirement if they provide proof of a recent, negative COVID-19 test. Various restrictions apply to the order.
The Associated Press reported that state officials were hopeful the pre-travel testing program could give local tourism a much-needed boost while keeping residents safe; tourism to Hawaii has reportedly plunged over 90% since the pandemic began.
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Fox News’ Janine Puhak contributed to this report.