View from the Volcano: A Rebel’s Crusade in Hawai‘i Tourism by Kathy Clarke

View from the Volcano: A Rebel’s Crusade in Hawai‘i Tourism

View from the Volcano: A Rebel’s
Crusade in Hawai‘i Tourism by Kathy Clarke

People always ask how I did it.

In the late 1970s, Kathy Clarke was the midwife for what became a burgeoning incentive travel industry in Hawai‘i. “Impossible” was not a word in Clarke’s vocabulary as she raised seven children and helped create a thriving tourism model. Her career began in Maui, where—making fast friends and ruffling the established players’ feathers along the way—Clarke was unafraid to plunge into uncharted waters and innovate a new way to tap into tourism. In 1988, she introduced incentive travel to Hawai‘i Island and replicated her Maui success. 

Having written her first memoir in 2021, Clarke was inspired to document not just her personal history, but that of her beloved industry as well. “No one knows the story of Hawai‘i’s incentive travel beginnings,” she observes. “If the story is not told, it will be lost.” In View from the Volcano, Clarke deftly weaves together the events of her own life and stories of the fitful growth of the state’s most influential industry—a unique perspective lent by her foundational role in shaping the framework of modern tourism in the Aloha State. Her trademark irreverent humor and wry observations will make readers forget they are consuming as much history as entertainment. 

After forty-five years influencing the hospitality and travel industry, and mentoring and training hundreds of suppliers and staff, Clarke lately finds herself asked two questions most frequently: How did you do it? (I have no idea. Truly.) And: When are you retiring? (Are they hoping I’ll go away, quietly? Am I looking old and tired? Am I just annoying?) But the only thing she loves more than making a difference is having a challenge. Still in the game, passionate and adventurous, Hawai‘i’s oldest living DMC, Clarke continues to delight in instigating minor rebellions. 

Born in Utah and raised in Northern California, Kathy Clarke lived on Maui for eleven years before moving to Hawai‘i Island, her main residence for the past thirty-three years.  Since 1980, Clarke has built a successful event and destination management company, operating on all Hawaiian islands. She has been a fixture on the local fundraising scene in her Waimea hometown, coordinating several cultural and community events for years. She also enjoys sustainable gardening and cooking. Her first collection of micro memoirs, My Life is a Road Atlas, was published in December 2021. 

Release Date: January 2023
116 pages

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