Home » Conferences » Currently Reading:

Surfing Legends Buffalo Keaulana and George Downing Honored with Tourism Legacy Awards at Hawaii Tourism Conference

September 30, 2016 Conferences No Comments Email Email
Opening day of the 2016 Hawaii Tourism Conference began on Tuesday with an early morning Tai Chi workout and ended with the unveiling of three beautiful new exhibits honoring Hawaiian culture, music and surfing at the Hawaii Convention Center.

Sitting (l-r): Buffalo Keaulana; George Downing Standing (l-r): George Kam, Quiksilver Ambassador of Aloha; George D. Szigeti, Hawaii Tourism Authority President and CEO; Keone Downing, son of George Downing

Sitting (l-r): Buffalo Keaulana; George Downing
Standing (l-r): George Kam, Quiksilver Ambassador of Aloha; George D. Szigeti, Hawaii Tourism Authority President and CEO; Keone Downing, son of George Downing

In between there were more than 20 sessions and special events addressing a range of topics involving Hawaiian culture, environmental sustainability, education, and quality of the visitor experience, all related to tourism and improving Hawaii as a destination looking forward.
The highlight event of the day was the presentation of the Tourism Legacy Awards by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA). Honoring Hawaii’s gifts to the world, this year’s focus was on surfing, a sport that people enjoy every day worldwide and connects them to our greatest natural resource, the oceans.
Making the event especially memorable was the special tribute given to two Hawaii surfing legends, Buffalo Keaulana and George Downing, and their ohana (family), for all they have meant to surfing in Hawaii and around the world.
“Buffalo and George are two of Hawaii’s original ambassadors of aloha, caring and generous men who fostered a love for surfing and the ocean in countless visitors, inspiring them to return year after year,” said George D. Szigeti, president and CEO.”

Buffalo Keaulana is revered as one of Hawaii’s founding fathers of contemporary surfing. His love for the ocean led to a 34-year career as a lifeguard for the City and County of Honolulu on the Leeward Coast, where he saved many lives. A championship surfer in the 1950s and 1960s, he established Buffalo’s Big Board Surfing Classic at Makaha, which revived the diversity of surfing through various forms, such as bodysurfing, body-boarding, paipo, tandem, canoe surfing, and stand-up paddle surfing.

George Downing began surfing at age nine, using a solid redwood plank to surf Waikiki. A Waikiki beach boy for more than 30 years, Downing was an all-around waterman, innovative board shaper, mentor to generations of young surfers and paddlers, and a leading advocate for protecting surfing sites, including Mamala Bay, Waikiki. One of Downing’s enduring legacies is Save Our Surf, a people’s movement dedicated to protecting Hawaii’s beaches and surfing areas.

The Waikiki Tourism Conference, taking place September 26-30, features more than 60 sessions and special events. For more information, visit www.hawaiitourismconference.com.

Comment on this Article:







Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Platinium Partnership

ADVERTISEMENTS

Elite Partnership Sponsors

ADVERTISEMENTS

Premier Partnership Sponsors

ADVERTISEMENTS

Official Media Event Partner

ADVERTISEMENTS

Global Travel media endorses the following travel publication

ADVERTISEMENTS

ADVERTISEMENTS