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Outrigger Partners with Manta Pacific Research Foundation Helping Safeguard the Majestic Marine Neighbors & Enlighten Guests


HONOLULUOutrigger Hospitality Group, known worldwide as a premier beach resort brand and host of signature cultural experiences in Hawai‘i and beyond, today announced a meaningful long-term partnership with Manta Pacific Research Foundation, a leading organization for manta ray research, education and conservation. Together, Outrigger and Manta Pacific will work to observe and protect the giant manta rays that share the sacred waters of Keauhou Bay fronting Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa, while educating guests and promoting responsible travel practices.

Kicking off the partnership, Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa will host an immersive event on May 24, 2022, from 1-7 p.m. at the on-property Manta Center featuring Keller Laros, president of Manta Pacific Research Foundation and Dr. Csilla Ari-G’Agostino, leading researcher from the University of South Florida. Acclaimed marine biologist and filmmaker Rick Rosenthal will be showing a sneak preview of his latest film, “Alien Contact: Manta Rays,” which is set for worldwide broadcast next year.

The complimentary ‘Manta Talks’ event will provide a thorough examination of manta ray behavior, conservation and more. There will also be a deep dive into manta ray tourism along the iconic Kona Coast – discussing the history and growth of this phenomenon and how humans can help protect the rays in their natural habitat. The Kona Coast is one of the only places in the world where people can consistently view giant manta rays up close. One of the resort’s most popular Signature Experiences is the Manta Ray Night Viewing and Snorkeling; as floatation devices light up the plankton, the manta rays come out to eat and the majestic rays glide gracefully and harmlessly within inches of the snorkelers.

“Outrigger is fortunate to have these gentle, giant manta rays as our neighbors here in Kona,” said Steve Solberg, general manager of Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa. “We are delighted to re-engage in this synergistic partnership with Manta Pacific Research Foundation as part of our brand’s larger Outrigger’s ZONE (OZONE) global conservation initiative which seeks to preserve and protect the health of our oceans and marine life such as corals and manta rays.”

Beyond ‘Manta Talks,’ curious guests are encouraged to visit Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa to take advantage of the various manta experiences offered on property. Manta rays can be observed daily at dusk from the Manta Viewing Deck, which provides a unique vantage point for watching these creatures, which often reach 12 feet across, swim along the coastline. Educational sessions are also available to inform guests about Keauhou Bay’s currents and rich minerals that attract the mantas close to the Kona shore.

Adventurous travelers and locals alike can opt for a truly awe-inspiring experience and interact with rays up-close-and-personal through nightly scuba and snorkel excursions at Manta Ray Village just off the resort’s edge. As special flotation devices illuminate and attract plankton to the water’s surface, graceful manta rays glide harmlessly within inches of guests.

“Manta rays are some of the smartest, most interesting creatures to study – and it is our mission to preserve this majestic species for generations to come,” said Keller Laros, President of Manta Pacific Research Foundation. “It is wonderful to have a like-minded partner with Outrigger who understands the importance of protecting this wild, natural and truly authentic experience and educating global visitors about the rich history of manta rays in Kona Hawai‘i.”

To book a stay at Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa or an unforgettable manta ray experience, visit: Attendance and parking for the ‘Manta Talks’ event on May 24, 2022, are complimentary in honor of Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa’s commitment to the study of its majestic marine neighbors.

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