Resources: Information for Tour Operators

July 30, 2010
Aloha World Heritage Tour and Travel Provider,

On July 30, 2010, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument was inscribed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as the first mixed (natural and cultural) World Heritage Site in the United States - one of only 26 mixed sites in the world. Papahānaumokuākea is the first site nominated by the United States in more than 15 years, and is now the largest World Heritage site on the globe.

Now that Papahānaumokuākea Marine Nation Monument has been selected for inscription, we are reaching out to individuals and organizations involved in the promotion, marketing, protection, support of, and travel to World Heritage sites. Our goal is to ensure that there are realistic expectations in the travel industry so that when you, the travel professionals, are approached for information about the first marine World Heritage site in the United States, you have accurate reference material at hand.

The Monument’s management philosophy and regulations have always been designed to “bring the place to the people” through education, virtual experiences, and extremely limited visitation - restriction on human access and activity being the only way to ensure that the near pristine ecosystems and cultural heritage of this remote region are preserved for future generations.

As such, all access to and activities within the Monument are by permit only. By regulation, the only area that allows public visitation is Midway Atoll and even then, only under strict carrying capacity guidelines. The following information applies to potential Midway visitors:

  • Access to Midway Atoll is through the standard Monument permitting process that applies to all human activity in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. For more information, visit: http://papahanaumokuakea.gov/resource/permits.html

  • Midway Atoll is only accessible via chartered aircraft or vessel

  • Limited small tour group access is also available through private operators

  • Accommodations are double occupancy rooms with private baths

  • Management of Midway Atoll is guided by the Midway Conceptual Site Plan
    contained within the Monument Management Plan, which can be accessed at: http://papahanaumokuakea.gov/management/mp.html

As you prepare publications and other information for your clients and customers, please review the enclosed Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument Fact Sheet or contact our Constituency and Outreach Program Manager at hawaiireef@noaa.gov, or call +1‐808‐397‐2660
for more information.

Sincerely,
Monument Management Board