Opportunity Scholars explore the tourism and hospitality industry in Hawaii

Over Spring Break, Opportunity Scholar’s Tourism and Hospitality class took twelve scholars to Oahu, Hawaii, to learn more about the industry through company visits and service projects.

“This trip was such an amazing experience that allowed us to immerse ourselves in the culture through the group activities and individual exploration,” said junior Janet Ramirez. “I not only got to learn about the community but also hospitality and tourism, enhancing my university experience!”

At BYU Hawaii, students discussed the perspective of “Sense of Place” with Professor Poerava Hapairai from the Hospitality Tourism Management Department. They then traveled to the Polynesian Cultural Center to learn about the different Polynesian islands. Throughout the week, students also visited Hawaiian Airlines, Hawaii’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, and the Marriot Residence Inn in Kapolei to discuss sustainability, community outreach, and corporate expansion in tourism.

This annual experience also features a service project. This year, it was the Mālama ʻĀina experience. Students spent the day learning the meaning behind Mālama ʻĀina by growing and harvesting Taro. “The Malama ’Aina experience encourages a wave of new thinking and activism-related sustainability,” explains Latu Kinikini, Associate Director for Opportunity Scholars. “As students value tourism’s sustainability and regenerative efforts, I hope they become influential and effective business leaders and decision-makers.”

Haylie Heale

Haylie Heale is a senior studying Marketing and Information Systems at the David Eccles School of Business. She is currently an intern for the Marketing and Communications department and a Diversity Ambassador for the Office for Student Inclusion.

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