HONOLULU (AP) — Many resorts in Hawaii are hoping to edge away from coconut bras, tiki bars and other kitschy marketing inventions that aren't Hawaiian but that have come to symbolize a Hawaii vacation for tourists.
Economics is driving the movement, in part. Tourism leaders know Hawaii needs to highlight what makes the islands unique to compete with other sun-and-surf destinations like Florida, Mexico and Thailand.
But it's also the latest sign of a Native Hawaiian renaissance with more locals studying Hawaiian language, reviving traditional styles of hula and learning ancient skills like using stars to navigate the ocean.
The trend may help improve the dim view many Native Hawaiians have of tourism, the state's largest industry. A 2010 survey found nearly 60 percent don't believe it helps preserve their language and culture.