The Hawaii Tourism Authority announced that George Szigeti has been selected as its new president and CEO.

Szigeti will replace interim CEO Ronald Williams, who took the position in December after Mike McCartney left to serve as Gov. David Ige’s chief of staff. McCartney had served as the president and CEO of the state’s tourism agency since 2009.

“George’s experience in and understanding of the visitor industry, and his extensive business background, all make for an ideal candidate to lead the HTA and ensure a sustainable future for our visitor industry moving forward,” said Aaron Sala, HTA board chair, in a press release.

Szigeti is currently the president and CEO of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, a position he has held since 2012. Previously, he was the CEO of Better Brands, a subsidiary of Young’s Market Company, LLC.

He also serves on the board of directors of the Hawaii Food Bank, Hawaii Food Industry Association, Sheraton Hawaii Bowl and the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.

“I am honored to be selected by the HTA board of directors and appreciate their show of confidence in me to serve our community and industry,” said Szigeti in the release. “I look forward to working collaboratively with them, the HTA staff, international marketing contractors, visitor industry, lawmakers and stakeholders as we continue positioning Hawaii for future growth, while honoring Hawaiian culture and perpetuating its legacy, traditions and value.”

Tour bus stops at the Capitol. 27 april 2015. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat

The Hawaii Tourism Authority was established in 1998 to manage Hawaii’s tourism industry to optimize benefits for visitors and the community.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat


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