July 2016 E-Bulletin
Message from George D. Szigeti
President & CEO
Hawaii Tourism Authority

It’s been a productive year thus far and I’d like to take a moment to thank you all for the great work being done on behalf of the Hawaiian Islands. 

Let’s keep the positive momentum going.

As a result of everyone’s efforts, there have been a number of accolades bestowed on Hawaii by domestic and international media outlets that speak to the quality of work being done by our industry partners and our Global Marketing Team.

TravelAge West recently honored Hawaii with two Wave Awards, the top travel industry honor for the Western market as voted on by readers of the publication.

Hawaii was recognized as the “U.S. Destination with the Highest Client Satisfaction.” The award proves that Hawaii’s tourism industry knows how to keep our visitors happy, making them want to return for more.

The second award was given to the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, which was recognized as the "U.S. Tourism Board Providing the Best Travel Agent Support.” Congratulations to John Monahan, president and CEO of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, and HVCB's Island Chapters for a job well done keeping our travel agent community educated and excited about selling Hawaii. This is the second consecutive year Hawaii has received these accolades. Click here for a full list of Wave Award winners.

Hawaii was also recognized as “The Best Island Destination of the Year 2016” at the China Travel & Meetings Industry Awards, hosted by Travel Weekly China, the country's leading travel industry business-to-business information brand connecting buyers and sellers.

The Hawaiian Islands also won the distinction of “Most Relaxing Holiday” in the widely acclaimed New Travel Routings Contest 2016 from U Magazine, the leading travel news magazine in Hong Kong.  A big mahalo to Reene Ho-Phang and the Hawaii Tourism China/Hawaii Tourism Hong Kong teams for their role in sharing the Hawaii brand in these markets.
None of these honors would be possible without the incredible support of our industry partners. We share these accolades with all of you.

Mahalo nui,

July Events

Transforming Tourism Together
September 26-30, 2016

Registration is now open for the 2016 Hawaii Tourism Conference, set for September 26-30, at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu. HTA will be breaking the traditional conference mold for its gathering, bringing together major stakeholders from around the world and celebrating Hawaii's unique culture, attractions and more under the theme, “Transforming Tourism Together.” 

Early bird registration ends on July 31, 2016.

Click here to register today.

Kalani Kaanaana Joins HTA as
Director of Hawaiian Cultural Affairs

Born and raised in the Windward Oahu town of Kailua and fluent in the Hawaiian language, HTA’s new Director of Hawaiian Cultural Affairs Kalani Kaanaana keeps himself immersed in a multitude of community activities. In addition to serving as head coach and secretary of the board for the Kai Oni Canoe & Athletic Club, he is a board member of the Oahu Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association.

Kaanaana is also head coach of the Kailua High School Paddling Team and dances hula with Halau Mohala Llima. He has also served as first vice president of the Kailua Hawaiian Civic Club.  

Prior to joining HTA, Kaanaana served as coordinator of clinical health and community programs for The Queen’s Health System’s Native Hawaiian Health Program. His background also include overseeing the manufacturing
and retail operations of Oiwi Ocean Gear, and serving as
a legislative aide to State Rep Ken Ito and State Rep.
Pono Chong.

Moolelo Hawaii: A Hawaiian Culture and History Series

Image courtesy of Hawaii State Archives, artist: Choris, Louis (1795-1828);
call number: PP-97-5-005)

Kamehameha I, 1810-1819

Even before uniting the Hawaiian Islands under his rule, the man who would become known as Kamehameha the Great possessed great ambition, battling his rivals to become king of the island of Hawaii. With the help of European weaponry and solid leadership, he eventually conquered Maui, Lanai, Molokai and, finally, Oahu to become Kamehameha I. Kauai and Niihau later joined the newly formed Kingdom of Hawaii peacefully. 

The first ruler of the unified Hawaiian Islands, Kamehameha the Great became a king who ruled with wisdom, foresight, fairness and compassion. Some of the laws he created would become the foundation of current laws in Hawaii’s Constitution.

HTA Expands Hawaii’s Marketing to Hong Kong

Responding to industry feedback and seeking to capitalize further on China’s emerging travel market, HTA recently announced the expansion of its tourism marketing efforts to include Hong Kong through its marketing contractor BrandStory Asia.  

The May 24 launch celebration in Hong Kong had more than 120 representatives of leading media, travel trade partners and airlines in attendance. Air carriers sending representatives included American Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, Japan Airlines, Korean Air and United Airlines.

Guests enjoyed authentic Hawaiian music and hula by Tihati Productions, and a series of live and interactive events including sketching, an opportunity to create their own poke, and an artist capturing the beauty of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on a large canvas. The Four Seasons Oahu at Ko Olina and The Modern Honolulu each sponsored three-night oceanfront room accommodations paired with Hawaii round-trip airfare for two, as event grand prizes.

Hawaii Tourism Hong Kong Debuts at ITE & MICE 2016

Asia's long established and Hong Kong's only travel fair, ITE & MICE 2016, was held at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, June 16-19. The travel fair drew 12,081 buyers and trade visitors and 87,812 visitors.

Hawaii Tourism Hong Kong's participation at ITE & MICE 2016 marked its inaugural presence at a major international travel exhibition since the launch of its new office.

HTHK's pavilion featured a range of activities to entice guests and create interest among the large crowds.

HTHK also hosted three successful seminars for travel trade and consumers, providing in-depth insights into Hawaii as a travel destination. In addition, a total of 48 media articles were generated about the Hawaii showcase.

Randy Baldemor, chief operating officer of HTA, participated in the opening ceremony that also featured many regional VIPs including Cathy Chu, Commissioner for Tourism of Tourism Commission Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, Hong Kong, and The Honorable Gregory So, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Hong Kong.

Hawaii Team Promotes International Travel at IPW 2016

Staff from HTA; its United Kingdom, China and Australia offices; its island chapter bureaus; and its public relations agency Anthology Marketing Group took part in the U.S. Travel Association's IPW 2016, held in New Orleans, June 19-22.  

IPW is the travel industry's premier international marketplace, with more than 1,300 international and domestic buyers from more than 70 countries in attendance.  

Over three days at IPW 2016, the team conducted more than 150 appointments with representatives of the travel trade and media. 

HTA also set up and coordinated a Hawaii section at IPW 2016’s Brand USA Marketplace Hall to highlight the destination and its 32 industry partners.

Travel Channel and W Magazine Highlights Hawaii in North America

Island Explorers

HVCB assisted New York based Left/Right Productions with an exciting new mini-series called “Island Explorers,” which premiered on the Travel Channel over the July 4th weekend. Click here for more information.

W Magazine

The June/July issue of W Magazine included a 20-page print feature focused on the natural beauty, fashion and people of Hawaii.

The spread also profiles prominent Hawaii residents, including Allison Sarofim, Paul Theroux, Garret McNamara, Princess Dialta Alliata, Kapono Souza, Taimane Gardner and Pat Lang.

W Magazine also featured the Hawaiian Islands online showcasing the favorite Oahu spots of Sarofim and Theroux, along with social media coverage on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Click here for more information.

Hawaii Crystal Run Being Held in Taiwan, Sept. 3

Hawaii Tourism Taiwan announced at a recent press conference that it will hold its second annual Hawaii Crystal Run at Fulong Beach, New Taipei City on September 3, featuring three runs of different distances: 24.5km, 9km & 5km.

HTT's Managing Director Andrew Koh said that Hawaii is known for its annual running events, such as the Hapalua half-marathon.

To share the experience of what it is like to run on the beaches of Hawaii, the inaugural Hawaii Run organized by HTT in 2015 was held on Fulong Beach, attracting more than 5,000 runners to the event.

Hawaii Travel Promoted at Taipei Tourism Expo

The 2016 Taipei Tourism Expo was held at the Taipei World Trade Center from May 20-23.  Iconic images of Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Island of Hawaii were showcased in a backdrop at the expo, with a photo wall featuring Hawaii’s Destination Ambassador, celebrity Ruby Lin.

Maps and brochures spotlighting the Hawaiian Islands were made available for expo visitors, alongside travel planners, education guides and brochures from other stakeholders. A series of activities were hosted by Hawaii Tourism Taiwan's booth, including surveys of visitor experiences and impressions of Hawaii. The “Share the Aloha” campaign was also advertised.

The expo drew more than 340,000 visitors over a span of four days.

China Campaign: 6 Hawaiian Isles, 6 Dream Weddings

Hawaii Tourism China is a supporter of the popular Chinese television series We Are In Love

While in Hawaii, Shawn Yue (of Hong Kong) and Dongyu Zhou (of Mainland China), the program’s celebrity couple, experienced an amazing romantic journey, which included dancing hula, diving, practicing yoga, taking off on a water jet pack, watching the sunrise from Diamond Head, and camping on Secret Island on Oahu’s Windward Coast.

The series also spotlighted beautiful scenery on Oahu, Kauai, Maui, Lanai, Molokai and the Island of Hawaii.

We Are In Love is one of China’s top-rated Sunday television shows, generating heated discussions on Weibo, WeChat and HD Video Portal.

The page views for We Are In Love’s Weibo topic page reached 7.67 billion, with more than 5 million comments.

More Flights this Fall from Narita to Honolulu

Japan Airlines has officially announced the addition of more seasonal flights between Narita International Airport and Honolulu International Airport for September and October 2016.

The airline will be utilizing 186-seat Boeing 787-8 aircraft for the added flights.

The 59 total round-trip flights scheduled for both months will add 10,974 air seats to the market. 

Click here for more information.

Keeping Hawaii Free of Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Governor David Ige and the Hawaii State Department of Health reminds the public to remain vigilant and to continue taking proactive measures in keeping Hawaii free of mosquito-borne diseases.

Its Fight the Bite website provides useful tips and information on how you can protect yourself and Hawaii from the harm mosquitoes can cause. Simply using insect repellent while enjoying nature and taking steps to eliminate standing water where mosquitoes cluster and breed can help keep Hawaii safe and healthy.

For more information, please visit FightTheBiteHawaii.com.

Travel Weekly: Concerns about Zika are Shifting 
Destinations for ‘Babymooners’

Six months after the Zika virus started making headlines in the U.S., its effects are being felt by agents who cater to the “babymoon” and, in some cases, honeymoon travel markets.

While business as a whole remains solid, babymoon and honeymoon specialists reported a shift in the destinations to which pregnant travelers or those looking to become pregnant are heading.

More soon-to-be parents are choosing Zika-free vacation spots like Hawaii and Canada, among others.  

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.