Outrigger Hotels & Resorts Enrich Guest Experience with Whales and Marine Life Activities

Outrigger Hotels & Resorts has taken a major step
toward enriching their guests’ experience with the wonders of the Pacific
Ocean by partnering with Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society and
the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, two of the most respected
organizations in the field of marine exploration, education and
preservation.The Honolulu-based hotelier, which operates 50 properties in Hawaii,
Australia and across the Pacific, has entered the agreements to jointly
pursue projects in 2004 that inform, educate and enrich the experiences of
guests staying at an Outrigger or OHANA Hotels throughout the Pacific.

The partnerships were jointly announced today in Hawaii by Dr. Chuck Kelley
of Outrigger Hotels & Resorts, Ocean Explorer Jean Michel Cousteau of Ocean
Futures Society and Naomi McIntosh of the National Marine Sanctuary Program.

“We are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with the leadership of Outrigger
Hotels and Resorts and to say that we are all committed to being partners in
protection,” said Jean-Michel Cousteau, board trustee of the National Marine
Sanctuary Foundation and president of Ocean Futures Society.Ê “People
protect what they love.Ê However, people can only love what they understand.
In my more than six decades of life, I have come to realize that most people
don’t understand the important role the ocean plays in our daily lives.
That’s why partnerships of this variety are so critically important.”

The announcement was made during a special dedication ceremony that included
the unveiling of the Humpback Whale Information Kiosk, a new whale-tail
shaped touch-screen computer system created by the National Marine Sanctuary
Program and installed in the lobby at the Outrigger Reef hotel in Waikiki.

The 600-pound, one-of-kind prototype, was designed, built and programmed at
a cost of $30,000 over a two-year period through a cooperative effort
between the National Marine Sanctuary and its parent organization, the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


“We are extremely proud to be associated with these two fine organizations
that are truly making a difference in educating the public and helping to
preserve our precious marine life and ocean ecosystems,” said Dr. Chuck
Kelley of Outrigger Hotels.Ê “We are especially excited about what these
partnerships mean for our guests.Ê The wealth of information that will now
be available to our guests will undoubtedly enrich their experience and
appreciation of the ocean.”

National Marine Sanctuary Foundation will assist Outrigger with
comprehensive educational and outreach programs centered around Hawaii’s
unique marine life with an emphasis on the North Pacific Humpback Whale,
which migrates each winter to breed and calve in the waters off the Hawaiian
Islands. The foundation will coordinate a series of permanent educational
exhibits, expert lectures, ocean activities and community service projects
at Outrigger’s various properties.Ê By far the most novel component is the
Marine Life Kiosk, a prototype that took more than two years to complete.Ê
“We are delighted to partner with the Outrigger Hotels and Resorts on this
important outreach effort,” said Naomi McIntosh, Sanctuary Manager.

“Awareness of our marine resources in general, and knowledge about Humpback
Whales in particular, needs to be increased, and the best way to do this is
through partnerships like this.”

Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society will provide a variety of
multi-media information and learning tools for Outrigger guests. The main
component to be introduced this summer is the “Friends of the Reef Adventure
Guide” which will be distributed on a request basis at the front desk and
inserted into all Island Explorer Kits given free to children ages 5 to 10.
A series of five-minute mini documentaries entitled “Sea Scopes” will air
throughout the Outrigger and OHANA Hotels in Waikiki and where video systems

The Outrigger Hotels & Resorts, which prides itself on offering beachfront
locations through Hawaii, Guam, Fiji and Australia, will partner with both
organizations to coordinate activities like guest lecturer series, annual
whale counts, children’s arts and crafts events and even overnight reef

“As the non-profit partner to the National Marine Sanctuary System it is our
job to help build bridges between the public and private sectors,” said Lori
Arguelles, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation Executive Director..Ê “Most
people aren’t aware that these special underwater treasures exist, much less
how to support them.Ê This partnership is an important step in educating the
public about how each person can make a difference.”