I don't think anyone could question my absolute love for my island home of Hawaii...I have been blessed with the privilege of being a Miss Universe, and choose to use that voice to help promote my island home. I have been recently called into question on what raising awareness for Hawaii and tourism there really and truly does for my islands and it's people..and well all I can say to that is that it is- IT's about the ECONOMY...hello.
I promote Hawaii because Tourism is a Huge part of our economy..and whatever peoples personal ideologies about tourists coming to Hawaii that is THEIR kuleana (PROBLEM) and not mine. I promote Hawaii not for personal gain but to give back to a place that helped shape who I am today. I promote Hawaii for the father of three kids who has been a Valet parker at a major hotel in Waikiki for 20 something years so he can continue to support his family, or for the farmers out in Haleiwa that sell their fresh produce in BULK to the Hotels to feed all the TOURISTS who visit these islands. I promote Hawaii because I have traveled the world, and there are many beautiful places..some that even come close to looking like Hawaii...but they will never FEEL like Hawaii. What I promote can't be bottled or bought and sold on a stock exchange..I know for a fact when people visit Hawaii...they CHANGE. Somewhere between the tradewinds, the Aloha Spirit, and a Mai Tai if they are open to it they tap into that special part of Hawaii that I am so proud of..the essence of it's people..ALOHA SPIRIT.
And if they take that essence home to their countries with them..if they are made kinder, simpler, more considerate of a person because of it...then I will continue to hand out macadamia nuts at every mall across this globe. I support Hawaii tourism because it is good for Hawaii, and good for the PEOPLE...and that's all I have to say about that.
COME TO HAWAI'I it does the mind, the body and the SPIRIT GOOD. For US ALL.