The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s board of directors has announced the appointment of long-time tourism executive, Chris Tatum, as its new president and chief executive.
Tatum’s appointment concludes a four-month search and review of more than 100 candidates to find and appoint a new leader of the agency responsible for managing tourism for the state of Hawai‘i.
Tatum is expected to begin work at HTA by the end of December.
Tatum said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a difference in my home by developing a sustainable brand strategy that enhances the visitor’s experience, while preserving our way of life.”
Tatum, who moved to Hawai‘i as a youth, is an accomplished executive of Hawai‘i’s tourism industry, with an impressive career spanning 37 years at Marriott, where he is currently the area general manager for Marriott Resorts Hawai‘i.
He has also served as the opening resident manager of the Kaua‘i Marriott Resort and the JW Marriott in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and as the opening general manager for the Brisbane Marriott Hotel in Australia.
HTA board chair, Rick Fried, commented: “Chris Tatum has an ideal combination of qualities, experience and dedication to service that is needed to lead the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority forward, and the ability to guide the future direction of our state’s most important industry in serving the interests of residents on all islands.”
Tatum has contributed his time and expertise to the betterment of Hawai‘i’s tourism industry that goes beyond his professional responsibilities for Marriott.
Currently, he serves as chairman of the Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau and he previously served as chairman of both the Hawai‘i Lodging and Tourism Association and O‘ahu Visitors Bureau.