The association has been an effective leader and advocate throughout its history, representing the hospitality sector, and the visitor industry as a whole before government bodies on legislation and concerns affecting its members, educating the public about the value of tourism to the state, sponsoring philanthropic activities, and serving its members through education, networking, and professional development. Many of HLTA’s engaged members are also active alumni of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa School of Travel Industry Management, including Julie Arigo, Daniel Chun, Dave Evans, Clyde Min, Dean Nakasone, Ted Sakai, Glenn Vergara, and Tetsuji Yamazaki, to name a few.
HLTA has had a longstanding relationship with the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa School of Travel Industry Management through its many philanthropic endeavors, and actively participates in a variety of forums and symposiums at the school. The members donate thousands of dollars each year for scholarships such as the Edwin K. Hastings Scholarship, R.W. Bob Holden Memorial Scholarship, and Clem Judd, Jr., Memorial Scholarship. The association also organizes educational opportunities and coordinates mentorships, such as its “Generational Mentoring” program, which pairs some of the best hospitality students in Hawaiʻi with the top Hospitality leaders in the state. The formalized mentoring program, which includes six UH TIM students in its inaugural year, allows students to learn a variety of topics around leadership, emotional intelligence, personal branding and leading through change from the general managers whom they are paired with.