Modern Bride magazine annually polls travel agents on their
clients’ favorite honeymoon destinations. And for six years
running, Hawaii has topped the list beating out Mexico, Jamaica and
Tahiti. Small wonder, then, that visitor bureaus around the state
are ardently courting just-marrieds, whom they see as a profitable
Oahu Visitors Bureau sales and marketing director, Noelani
Schilling-Wheeler, said that 8.6 percent of Oahu’s total visitors
in 2001 were honeymooners. “This is an important segment for us,
one that we’re aggressively marketing,” she said. “Honeymooners are
a lucrative sale, and they can become a part of a travel agency’s
permanent database, if they’re serviced correctly.”
Like bureaus on all the major islands, the Oahu bureau
advertises in bridal magazines.
“We also work with travel agents and wholesalers to target
honeymooners,” said Schilling-Wheeler. “We collaborate closely with
our destination specialists on strategic marketing efforts from
participation in bridal shows across the country to the creation of
an agency’s honeymoon web pages.”
On Maui, nonresident marriages have tripled over the past 10
years, according to state Department of Health statistics.
The Maui Visitors Bureau distributes brochures at honeymoon and
bridal shows, advertises on several bridal Web sites and dedicates
a section of its own Web site, www.visit maui.com, to honeymoons
“We promote our romantic activities and warm culture of aloha to
newlyweds,” said the bureau director, Marsha Wienert, “not to
mention the huge variety of honeymoon packages available at our
resorts and hotels.
“We position ourselves as the ultimate honeymoon spot, with
tropical breezes and sunset strolls on the beach,” she said.
“Couples often want to come back to Maui for their
According to Kauai Visitors Bureau surveys, honeymooners
accounted for 16 percent of the island’s visitors last year.
The bureau forwards requests for specific honeymoon information
to the Kauai Wedding Professional Association, www.kauaiwedpro.com,
an organization dedicated to drawing wedding parties and
just-married couples to Kauai.
“We are blessed with some incredible scenery that is very often
the backdrop for spectacular weddings and honeymoons,” said Sue
Kanoho, the bureau’s director. “Add the variety of things to do
here, and honeymooners could stay for weeks on end.”
Spa treatments are becoming increasingly popular with Kauai
honeymooners, said Kanoho, while helicopter tours, boat tours and
kayaking are still favorites.
The Big Island Visitors Bureau director, George Applegate, said
that couples from the Western United States are looking for an
exotic, worry-free destination that is close to home. “Honeymooners
can book direct flights from the West Coast to Kona International
Airport,” said Applegate.
“Once here, they’re drawn to the diversity of the island, with
its great weather, beaches, spas, eco-activities and cultural
adventures,” he said.
The bureau advertises in the wedding magazine, The Knot
(www.theknot.com), and its Web newsletter for travel agents,
www.bigisland.org, promotes members’ honeymoon packages.