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            Mayor Mufi Hannemann will leave for Chicago Saturday evening to participate in an important roundtable discussion of travel and tourism issues on Monday with members of the US Conference of Mayors, tourism industry leaders, and US Senator John McCain.


The Travel Business Roundtable event will follow an address by McCain to the National Restaurant Association, which had also invited all other presidential candidates to speak.


“Travel, tourism and hospitality are vital to the economies of Honolulu and many other cities, and the participants in this meeting have many common goals and objectives,” Mayor Hannemann said. “I’m very pleased that we’re able to come together in one of our nation’s great cities to consider issues that concern us all. It is very important that our next president and administration understand and appreciate the importance of travel and tourism to the economies of our cities and our nation.”


Mayor Hannemann is participating as chairman of the US Conference of Mayors Standing Committee on Tourism, Arts, Parks, Entertainment and Sports. Two other mayors will also participate: Mayor Manuel Diaz of Miami, incoming chair of the USCM; and Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago. The USCM is supporting Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Olympics.


Participating business leaders will include Michael Kaufman, Chairman of the National Restaurant Association and Co-president of Enovo Restaurant Ventures; Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Chairman of Carlson Companies; Richard Rivera, immediate past President of the National Restaurant Association and Principal of Rubicon Enterprises; Steven Rudnitsky, President and CEO of Wyndham Hotel Group; and Jonathan Tisch, Chairman and CEO of Loews Hotels and Chairman of Travel Business Roundtable.


The US Conference of Mayors has developed a 10-point plan to guide the new president and Congress in addressing issues that affect Americans. As a result of Mayor Hannemann’s efforts, the plan includes support for tourism and the arts, and calls for the creation of a Cabinet-level Secretary of Culture and Tourism charged with forming a national policy for arts, culture and tourism.


Senators McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have been invited to address the 76th Annual Conference of Mayors in Miami next month.


Mayor Hannemann will return to Honolulu on Tuesday.


Contact: Bill Brennan, 527-6928

Friday, May 16, 2008

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