Systemic Racism and the Hawai'i Destination Wedding Industry as featured on WeddingChicks.com
Updated: Jul 7
In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and in the spirit of change, the intention of this article is to shed some light on the ways to which we participate in the oppression of the Indigenous people of Hawai’i. By exploring the intersections of systemic racism and the destination wedding industry, we are able to identify ways that we can be personally accountable for ending exploitation and creating a more equitable future.
It’s no secret that destination weddings are big business in Hawai’i. Perhaps on your search for wedding inspo, you’ve come across some of the many beautiful celebrations that have taken place in the islands. The Hawai’i Visitors and Conventions Bureau reports that in 2017, Hawai’i was the 4th most popular destination wedding location, trailing behind the Caribbean, Asia, and Europe. This translates to an average of 140 destination weddings per day and $16 billion in annual spending.
Destination weddings in Hawai’i are a byproduct of the state’s number one industry: Tourism. Hawai’i is often framed as a romantic escape for tourists; with sun and sand and a tropical cocktail in-hand. But what you may not know about tourism in Hawai'i (which is intentional by design) is that it stems from a legacy of colonialism and imperialism, and has evolved into systemic racism.
Read the full article on WeddingChicks.com.