Think Spoleto Festival with palm trees. That’s the gist of the
latest brainchild from the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the group
charged with growing the state’s visitor industry.
Called the Hawaii Arts Season (HAS), the new plan consolidates
Hawaii’s arts and cultural events into a two-month period each
spring, when island tourism traditionally lags. If successful, HAS
will boost Hawaii’s cultural profile in the eyes of its
Granted, a few Hawaii hotels have already been steering clients
toward Hawaii’s arts scene in recent years. Halekulani, for
instance, promotes a program called “For You, Everything,”
providing guests of the Waikiki hotel with free tickets to the
Bishop Museum, Contemporary Museum, Honolulu Academy of Arts,
Honolulu Symphony and Iolani Palace.
The point of HAS, however, is collaboration, said Hawaii Tourism
Authority marketing director Frank Haas, noting that members of the
travel industry can incorporate the season’s special events into
their product offerings.
“Hawaii is rich with arts and cultural offerings, but not many
visitors are aware of them,” said Haas. “The Hawaii Arts Season
program is a way to creatively package them and encourage travel to
Running from late February through early May 2004, the inaugural
HAS blends plays, concerts, exhibits, performances and festivals
from around the state. Venues range from traditional halls like the
Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall in Honolulu and Maui Arts and Cultural
Center, to college and community theaters, galleries, museums and
Haas said the tourism authority will market HAS using leisure
marketing budgets, with the support of travel wholesalers.
The local tourism industry is jumping on the bandwagon in
support of HAS.
Outrigger Waikiki is creating a package including admission to
an Impressionism exhibit at the Academy of Arts and a commemorative
art print. Aston Hotels and Resorts is providing guests with free
admittance to the Contemporary Museum for one week in April. E Noa
Tours is developing downtown Honolulu arts tours using its existing
Waikiki Trolley service.