Marriott International (NYSE:MAR) today presented its annual International Tourism Leadership Award for 2002 to U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii in recognition of his unflagging support of responsible and sustainable tourism in Hawaii and the tourism industry in general.
The Award was presented by Ed Fuller, president and managing director of international lodging for Marriott International.
“Marriott International established this Award in1997 in order to recognize the outstanding achievements of nations, organizations or individuals that result in the enhancement and encouragement of world tourism through cultural, historical or environmental preservation,” Mr. Fuller said.
“Tourism is a voluntary activity and tourists around the world are faced with numerous competing choices every time they leave home. Virtually every study of traveler motivation has shown that visiting scenic areas and historic or culturally unique sites as well as the opportunity to taste regional cuisine and share in a people’s music are among the primary reasons why people travel,” he continued.
In presenting the Award to Senator Inouye, Mr. Fuller said, “For more than 40 years, you tirelessly have supported initiatives that preserve and nurture the very reasons why people visit a destination. With your leadership, programs and initiatives have been developed throughout Hawaii that have ensured that Hawaii’s rich cultural and historical heritage are preserved and encouraged so future generations of visitors to this island paradise can be enriched for having come to Hawaii.”
Among Senator Inouye’s vast contributions to the tourism industry that Mr. Fuller cited were his leadership in the establishment and expansion of programs in such areas of interest as:
Cultural and Ecological Preservation Preservation á Native Hawaiian education programs at all grade levels á Hawaiian homelands community development programs á Native Hawaiian culture and arts initiatives á Native Hawaiian fishpond development
Ecotourism Preservation through á The expansion of the national park system and wildlife refuges including Haleakala National Park, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge and Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park
Marine Conservation through
á Construction of facilities for the Hawaiian Islands HumpbackWhale Sanctuary, restoration of the Ala Wai Canal and a study to control erosion at Hawaii’s famous Waikiki Beach
“At the same time, you have served as Board Chairman of the Pacific Asian Travel Association. Most importantly, you have been a leading voice and champion of tourism issues in the Congress of the United States, helping to focus the attention of this country’s leadership on the benefits of the travel industry as an engine of employment and as a contributor to the nation’s well-being while working with the private sector to help it ‘flex its economic muscle,’” Mr. Fuller said.
He noted that, while Senator Inouye’s contributions to the U.S. travel industry are numerous, among the highlights are:
á being the original sponsor of legislation in the mid-1980s of the U.S. Visa Waiver Pilot Program, and subsequently being a leader in the U.S. for permanently re-authorizing the program in 2000, thereby easing the way for citizens of many countries to easily visit the U.S. without having to go through the cumbersome visa application process á serving as an original sponsor of the Monday Holiday Act. Taken for granted today, this legislation alone is responsible for travelers being able to enjoy a number of three-day national holiday weekends in the U.S. throughout the year á being one of the leading voices in the U.S. Senate following the 9/11 attacks, advocating financial relief for the crippled U.S. travel industry.
“Your leadership is an inspiration for everyone to emulate and we are very pleased to recognize your many achievements,” Mr. Fuller said.
Previous recipients of the Marriott International Tourism Leadership Award include Costa Rica for its efforts in responsibly promoting eco-tourism and its careful stewardship of the environment (1977), Great Britain’s Prince Charles for his global role in fostering environmental preservation and the creation of the International Hotels Environment Initiative (1998), H.R.M. King Abdullah II of Jordan for his leadership and sensitivity in preserving Jordan’s cultural heritage (1999), H.R.H Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand for her commitment to fostering the culture of Thailand (2000), and the Pacific Area Travel Association for its 50 years of leadership in the promotion of responsible tourism in the region.