As the lead agency and advocate for Hawaii’s visitor industry, the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) is always on the lookout for ways to stimulate travel to the 50th state. That in mind, it recently dedicated $1.2 million toward four programs with visitor appeal.
One of the programs, the 2010 World Expo, will receive $448,000 in HTA funding. Hawaii will have a booth in the U.S. pavilion of the expo taking place in Shanghai that is expected to attract more than 70 million people between May and October 2010. Positioning at the expo will support the anticipated start-up of Hainan Airlines’ direct service to Hawaii from Beijing and the anticipated growth of the Chinese market.
In addition, the HTA is dedicating $400,000 to marketing efforts for Japan Airlines (JAL). Currently, JAL carries more than 60 percent of Japan’s travelers to Hawaii. HTA is hoping to keep JAL’s load factors between mid- to high- 80 percent by branding Hawaii’s individual islands, promoting potential direct charter flights to the neighbor islands and giving people a reason to visit Hawaii year-round.
The Na Hoku O Hawaii Music Festival is receiving $150,000 in HTA support. Set to debut on May 26-30, 2010, this festival is timed with the annual Na Hoku Hanohano awards, recognizing Hawaii’s top entertainers. HTA hopes to capitalize on the connectivity that Hawaiian music has around the world to stimulate travel to Hawaii. During the festival, some 3,000 to 5,000 visitors are expected to participate in workshops and seminars and experience Hawaiian music at stages throughout Waikiki.
The fourth program, which will get $240,000 from the HTA, boosts the Korean meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions market. The HTA is developing creative marketing strategies and activities aimed at positioning Hawaii as a leading incentive travel destination while supporting Korean travel agents in their efforts.
“While we remain cautiously optimistic by the increase in visitor arrivals from the Western U.S. over the past five consecutive months, we continue to challenge our marketing partners and staff to develop innovative ways to boost travel to Hawaii,” said HTA president Mike McCartney. “These four programs are prime examples of opportunities that arose in the marketplace that could be immediately secured through our marketing fund. I’m confident that they offer direct benefits to our visitor industry.”