March 2017 E-Bulletin
Message from George D. Szigeti
President & CEO
Hawaii Tourism Authority

Aloha kakou,

Winter is behind us and spring has officially arrived!

Among the many responsibilities of the Hawaii Tourism Authority is providing insightful market research that keeps tourism’s stakeholders informed about travel statistics and industry trends.
Each month, HTA’s Tourism Research Division produces visitor statistics that the industry relies on to evaluate travel to Hawaii, where visitors are coming from, and how marketing strategies can be adjusted. The results are precise, informative and tell us how Hawaii’s major markets are performing.
In March, our Tourism Research Division demonstrated its value to Hawaii’s tourism industry with two sets of studies, the first assessing the impact of alternative accommodations, and the second offering in-depth findings about LGBT travel to Hawaii.
The growth of alternative accommodations in communities statewide is a hot topic these days. HTA’s studies provide interesting data about the effect of this lodging segment on both travel to Hawaii and the availability of housing for residents.

HTA’s LGBT travel research were the first studies conducted on behalf of the State of Hawaii. The studies offer valuable insight that industry partners can use to customize their marketing programs and product offerings to attract more LGBT travelers.

Kudos to our Tourism Research Division for its excellent work in keeping policymakers, tourism stakeholders, media and the general public informed about Hawaii travel.

Mahalo for your continued support of Hawaii’s tourism industry.

With Warmest Aloha, 

George D. Szigeti
Studies Issued on Alternative Accommodations and LGBT Travel
In keeping with HTA’s commitment to provide industry partners with pertinent Hawaii marketing data, its Tourism Research Division recently issued separate sets of studies evaluating alternative accommodations and LGBT travel.

Two alternative accommodations studies, Hawaii's Home and Vacation Rental Market: Impact and Outlook by JLL's Hotels and Hospitality Group, and The Impact of Vacation Rental Units in Hawaii, 2016 by SMS Research and Marketing Services, provide an independent, factual analysis of how alternative accommodations affect tourism and housing availability statewide.

Daniel Nahoopii, HTA director of tourism research, said, “The depth and quality of information in the studies is illuminating, both in providing the public with a better understanding about alternative accommodations on a statewide level and how it is being utilized by visitors and residents.”

In addition, HTA issued four research studies about the profiles, preferences and sentiments of LGBT travelers to Hawaii from the United States, Canada, China, and Australia.

Two additional studies evaluating LGBT travel to Hawaii from Japan and Taiwan are in progress.

The studies are the first done on behalf of the State of Hawaii to analyze LGBT travel to the Hawaiian Islands.

Nahoopii noted the studies present insightful information that “provide travel industry businesses statewide with both a broader and more precise base of knowledge as to how they can capture a greater market share of LGBT travelers from our key source markets.”

Reminder: 2017 HTA Spring Marketing Update

The Hawaii Tourism Authority and its marketing partners will share insightful information on travel industry trends, market updates and partnership opportunities during the 2017 Spring Marketing Update, on Thursday, March 30, at the Hawaii Convention Center's Liliuokalani Theater. Following is the presentation schedule.

March-April Events
AirAsia X Ready for Take Off to Hawaii 

AirAsia X, the first low-cost carrier flying from Japan to Hawaii, announced the launch of a new Kuala Lumpur-Osaka-Honolulu route with service set to begin on June 28. The carrier’s four weekly Airbus A330-300 flights out of Japan’s Kansai International Airport will provide more than 78,000 seats annually to Hawaii.

A press conference in Osaka announcing the route featured hula performances, a special appearance by Miss Hawaii Allison Chu, and attracted more than 70 media members.
Hawaii Tourism Japan Canvasses Five Cities
with Hawaii Seminars and Workshops
Hawaii Tourism Japan (HTJ) conducted its “Five Cities Hawaii Seminar and Workshop” in Sapporo, Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka, from January 30 to February 9. An estimated 900 industry representatives attended the seminars, held by HTJ to introduce its 2017 programs and initiatives.
The event provided a platform for 32 industry partners to connect with Japan agents in five cities, and an opportunity for HTJ to kick off 2017 with relationship-strengthening face-to-face interactions between partners from Hawaii and Japan.
New HTJ AllHawaii Mobile Site Launches

On February 1, HTJ released a new mobile version of its official portal site, Launched to keep pace with market demand, the new mobile portal site allows easy access to all of the features available on

As of January, 64 percent of website visitors were mobile users and 31 percent desktop computer users.

Cookie Icing Workshops with Shaka-chan
HTJ held its first-ever Icing Cookie workshop in February, treating 32 participants to a fun-filled evening of decorating cookies shaped like HTJ character Shaka-chan, tasting local dishes, and the presentation of HTJ’s newest campaign “Gohoubi Hawaii” and giveaways.

The workshop ended with positive feedback from participants, many of whom shared their experiences via social media.

Hawaii Tourism United States brings Hawaii to the Big Apple
Hawaii Tourism United States (HTUSA) recently launched a three-year program to elevate knowledge and appeal of Hawaii to the next generation of New York leisure vacation travelers, ages 25 to 34.

Inaugural market development activities, held throughout March, included out-of-home still and video digital boards in high-traffic areas such as Columbus Circle and Chelsea Market, and heavy media coverage, including digital delivery of editorial, native and social media content. 

Street-team pop-ups were held in the first week of March, and a closing event for social influencers and media is set for the last week of March.

On March 6, HTUSA partnered with chefs/restaurant partners Chris Kajioka and Anthony Rush of Senia to host a collaboration dinner at New York City’s Per Se restaurant for top-level editors and writers of publications on HTUSA’s “Hot 100” list.

Supplementing the dinner was a March 9 event at the Tasting Table Test Kitchen, also in New York, allowing HTUSA an opportunity to engage with editors, writers and social media influencers, and share stories of Hawaii. The two events were part of HTUSA’s larger goal of reaching avid travelers and showcasing the variety of unparalleled experiences available throughout the Islands.

HTA Visit Warms Canada
HTA President and CEO George D. Szigeti, Vice President of Marketing and Product Development Leslie Dance, and Director of Cultural Affairs Kalani Kaanaana made a whirlwind visit to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, from March 6 to 8, to support Hawaii Tourism Canada (HTCAN).

Their three-day visit included cultural training for the new Canadian team, meetings with key travel partners (including Air Canada and WestJet), a travel industry luncheon with top travel media and partners, and more.

The activities confirmed HTA’s strong commitment to the Canadian market and the market’s significant growth potential.

Flight Centre Cooperative Campaign Targets
Sydney and Brisbane Markets
On January 30, Hawaii Tourism Oceania (HTO) and Australian retail travel outlet Flight Centre Travel Group launched a fully-integrated two-week campaign in Sydney and Brisbane, which included radio, TV, print, outdoor, digital, paid social and consumer activation. 

The campaign, which ran through February 13, included an in-store activation at the Sydney Flight Centre Superstore, a performance in the Pitt Street Mall, and Flight Centre staff handing out flyers.

Flight Centre also held an activation event in Brisbane's King George Square, utilizing a giant digital screen. 

Big Interest in Hawaii At Flight Centre Consumer Travel Shows
HTO also participated in Flight Centre Travel Group's Travel Expo in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, offering destination information and special deals. The expo prompted strong inquiries from attendees about holidaying in Hawaii, especially from couples, multi-generational families, and friends traveling as a group.

A significant number of attendees also mentioned Flight Centre deals they had seen via HTO’s cooperative advertising.
The expo’s record attendance numbers included 20,798 in Sydney, 25,748 in Melbourne and 24,476 in Brisbane.

HTA Brand Manager Chris Sadayasu even had the good fortune of helming the Hawaiian Islands booth at the Brisbane expo. In Auckland, New Zealand more than 12,000 consumers attended the travel expo.
HTO and Hawaii Partners Network at AIME 2017
HTO was an exhibitor at the annual Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME), held in Melbourne in late February. Representatives of five Hawaii partners – The Modern Honolulu, The Kahala Hotel and Resort, Aulani - A Disney Resort and Spa, The Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach and the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau – joined HTO at the Meet Hawaii booth.
The booth welcomed 112 pre-scheduled appointments and more than 150 visitors over the expo’s two days, gaining valuable new contacts and potential leads for the destination. With continuing strong interest in Hawaii, the Meet Hawaii booth was a popular stop for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions professionals attending the expo. Feedback from partners indicated the event had been extremely valuable for them.
HTO Hosts MCI Post-Sales Trip in Auckland

HTO organized a post-AIME sales trip to Auckland, New Zealand on February 23 and 24, with an itinerary combining sales calls and a networking event with key travel trade partners.

In attendance were Randy Parker, director of sales for the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau; Kerry Kuhl, national sales manager at The Kahala Hotel and Resort; Joe Medwetz, senior sales and services director at Aulani - A Disney Resort and Spa; and Laura Hauser, director of leisure sales at The Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach.
Nanshan Sales Motivation Event Encourages Travel to Hawaii
Hawaii Tourism Taiwan (HTT) collaborated with the Nanshan Insurance Incentive Group to co-host a Hawaii sales incentive event in Taiwan on February 9.

The intention of the event was boosting sales volume by showcasing Hawaii as the next vacation destination for top Nanshan sales agents – a trip that will happen in the second-half of 2017. HTT was invited to give an enticing presentation about the beauty and wonder of Hawaii.

The event kicked off in high energy with entertaining hula performances and more than 900 Nanshan insurance agents in attendance. Nanshan is one of Taiwan’s largest insurance companies, with multiple in-country divisions and incentive events.
iWalker-Moving Kitchen Films on Oahu
One of Taiwan’s most-popular travel shows, iWalker-Moving Kitchen, filmed on Oahu from February 5 to 18. The series, which primarily focuses on food and cuisine destinations, reaches an average of 6 million viewers per episode. The four episodes of the series filmed in Hawaii will showcase Oahu’s culinary scene and places to visit for Taiwanese travelers.
HTT worked closely with the Oahu Visitors Bureau to determine the themes for each episode and secure partners for the show. HTT staff even accompanied iWalker-Moving Kitchen’s director and show planner on a site-inspection trip in January prior to filming, visiting more than 20 venues, including hotels, restaurants and attractions. The team conducted in-depth interviews with chefs and management teams from multiple Oahu restaurants to develop storylines highlighting the features of each venue.
HTK Coordinates Photo Shoot with Korean Celebrity Kim Hyo-jin
In its continuing efforts to maximize Hawaii exposure, Hawaii Tourism Korea (HTK) invited The Traveller Magazine, a Korean consumer travel publication, to Oahu in February to conduct a celebrity fashion photo shoot with high-profile Korean celebrity Kim Hyo-jin.

The resulting feature, set for the magazine’s April issue, will run a minimum of six pages and include travel editorial spotlighting Oahu, including information on hotels, shopping, activities, restaurants, sightseeing and other useful visitor topics.

The expected PR value of the feature is $72,000 (USD).
Korea Digital FAM Tour Engages Prominent Travel Bloggers
HTK conducted a blogger FAM trip to the Hawaiian Islands with Sohnmina and Co., from February 23 to March 2, in efforts to generate online coverage on major social media channels and portal sites. Invitees on the “#AlohaEverywhere Friends” FAM included Sohn Mina, a writer and CEO of the travel content company, as well as 10 prominent travel bloggers.

Divided into two groups, the writers visited Maui, Lanai, Oahu and the island of Hawaii, sharing new Hawaii information and travel tips targeting FIT travelers and young explorers.
HTK also produced a special logo for the FAM trip, aiming to maximize the tour’s buzz on Korean social media while offering an official endorsement to resulting blog posts. Participating bloggers were encouraged to add the logo to their posts, assuring consumers the information within was from credible resources.

The posts will be updated through the end of April on Facebook, Instagram and Naver.
Hong Kong’s Auntie Ha-wai Explores Hawaii for Travel Series
Auntie Ha-wai in Hawaii, a travel series for Hong Kong audiences, was launched in February on Facebook with its three episodes – posted on February 23, 28 and March 3 – earning positive response from members of the travel industry, the media and, most importantly, Hong Kong residents.

The episodes – the product of a partnership between Hawaii Tourism Hong Kong (HTHK), U Magazine, Sky Post and Hong Kong actress Lana Wong Ha-wai (aka “Auntie Ha-wai”) – quickly went viral in Hong Kong reaching an audience of more than 1.5 million, garnering a viewership of 620,000, and tallying more than 3,000 shares online.
Audiences who shared posts on the series – including leading Hong Kong travel writers, entertainment media and agencies – enjoyed the episodes’ spotlight on Hawaii attractions and commented that the series broadened their knowledge of Hawaii and increased their desire to visit soon. Auntie Ha-wai’s personal engagement with her fans in the comments section of the series’ Facebook page was the pinnacle of the campaign’s success.
Additionally, HTHK worked with its partners to distribute destination-focused articles about the series to multiple platforms. HTHK worked with U Magazine and Sky Post on advertorial coverage, resulting in four full pages of advertorial published on February 24 and a full page of advertorial on February 28.

U Magazine
has a circulation of 100,000 with articles reaching a potential audience of 300,000 readers. Sky Post has a circulation of 500,206 with articles reaching a potential audience of 1,500,618 readers.

Advertorials were published on mobile apps as well, with four full pages posted on U Magazine's app on February 24 and a full page posted on Sky Post's app and official website on February 28. HTHK also sent out English and Chinese press releases to Hong Kong lifestyle and entertainment media, as well as trade partners.
With the success of the campaign’s audience numbers, its showcasing of Hawaii through Auntie Ha-wai's humor, and the series' Hawaii-focused tourism information, HTHK is meeting with tourist companies in hopes of creating a unique group package featuring a tour to Hawaii led by Auntie Ha-wai.
Aloha Outdoor Bus Campaign in Hong Kong Reaches 2 Million
Partnering with Hong Kong travel group Wing On, HTHK kicked off an outdoor bus body advertisement campaign with five buses repeatedly traversing the city daily for four weeks, from January 13 to February 9.

The bus routes were selected by the HTHK team to assure each bus would pass through the Cross Harbour Tunnel and Western Harbour Tunnel – the busiest tunnels in Hong Kong.

Offering excellent coverage of Hong Kong landmarks, the moving billboards – featuring a new Hawaii FIT Package on Oahu with optional tours on the island of Hawaii – created top-of-mind Hawaii awareness at every corner of Hong Kong. The campaign reached more than 180,000 vehicles and 2 million people over its four weeks.

CHENZAO Joint Marketing Campaign Promotes Hawaii Year-Round
Hawaii Tourism China (HTC) recently secured a collaboration with leading Chinese millennial women’s network CHENZAO to promote the campaign “Hawaii's 6-Island Travel Adventures With Shape Girl.”

As part of the partnership, Hawaii will be involved in CHENZAO’s “The Asia Ladies and Shape Girl 2017,” “CHENZAO Shape Girl Online Fitness Competition” and “9 Cities Women's Training Camp.”

HTC will fully utilize CHENZAO's continuous year-round online and offline promotional platforms to launch the “Hawaii's 6 Travel Adventures with Shape Girl” campaign. CHENZAO’s aim is to inspire women to take charge of their lives and wellness through its official WeChat and Weibo apps, CHENZAO app, Reading & Running Clubs (2 million members in 172 cities in 8 countries) and online boutique.
A comprehensive online registration channel was opened on the CHENZAO app. HTC cooperated with CHENZAO on the initiation ceremony for “The Asian Ladies,” an exhibition focusing on women's sports and fashion in Asia, which attracted more than 30,000. The event was covered by 17 media outlets, with a potential audience reach of 21.1 million and PR value of more than $6 million (USD). The ceremony was posted on multiple platforms, including CHENZAO social media, and Douyu and Yizhibo live apps.
HTC Advertising on Sohu Video Channel Reaches 1.82 Million Viewers

In conjunction with a 2017 theme of “Happy Healthy Hawaii,” HTC and Air China jointly launched a 15-second pre-roll video ad on Sohu Video’s American TV Series channel.

The pre-roll featured video showcasing the diverse outdoor activities and fantastic landscapes of the Hawaiian Islands, and discount return tickets from Guangzhou to Honolulu for millennial and family-travel FIT customers. The promotion is expected to help increase Hawaii travel from Southern China.
Travel trade partners Yiqifei, GZL, China Comfort Travel and Tongcheng supported the promotion through trade channels, and HTC utilized media channels to promote the initiative.

The pre-roll video ads were launched on PC, video and mobile port, reaching 1.82 million potential viewers.

Sohu Video is the first video-sharing platform from, one of the largest and most influential domestic websites in China.  Sohu’s American TV Series channel is its most popular, earning robust page views. The ad is also linked to an Air China-Hawaii product site.
UK Influencer Campaign Seeks to Generate Robust Consumer Engagement
Hawaii Tourism Europe’s United Kingdom office brought four social and digital media influencers to the Hawaiian Islands in late February as part of its multifaceted campaign “Hawaii Through a Lens,” which runs through April. 

The campaign utilizes social media, online advertising and tour operators to drive bookings and generate a high level of engagement with consumers.
HTA recognizes the use of the 'okina ['] or glottal stop, one of the eight consonants of the (modern) Hawaiian language; and the kahakō [ā] or macron (e.g., in place names of Hawai'i such as Lāna'i). However, HTA respects the individual use of these markings for names of organizations and businesses. Due to technological limitations, this current communication may not include all Hawaiian diacritical markings.