Aston's Aloha

When I became Editor-in-Chief of TravelAge West, I received a few congratulatory notes; one, in particular, came from Aston Hotels By: Kenneth Shapiro
Kenneth Shapiro
Kenneth Shapiro

When I became Editor-in-Chief of TravelAge West, I received a few congratulatory notes. One, in particular, came from Aston Hotels, and it was accompanied by a book, “Managing With Aloha,” by Rosa Say. The Aston employees who gave me the gift explained that, as the editor of TravelAge West, I was now a part of the islands’ tourism industry, and therefore I should understand some of what makes Hawaii and the Hawaiian culture so special.

“Aloha is within all of us — it is something we were born with,” the books states. “Each of us has this choice to make: Do we release our Aloha and share it? Do we live it, and do we celebrate it?”

I have always appreciated this gift, not just because it’s a great read, but because of what it says about the givers. To me, the book demonstrates Aston’s strong relationship with Hawaii and its dedication to preserving the islands’ culture.

As I’ve continued to work with Aston over the years, I’ve found both of those facts to be absolutely true. Aston cares about Hawaii, and the company is dedicated to promoting the island to visitors so that they can fall in love with the destination as well.

Aston is unfailingly loyal to Hawaii, and I have also witnessed how that loyalty is applied to travel agents. Shari Chang, Aston’s senior vice president of sales, marketing and revenue management, who is featured in the cover story, “Thriving at 65,” is constantly thinking of new ways to help agents build their businesses. Whenever we reach out to her for a story or project, she is extremely generous with her time. Agents have seen this loyalty in action, and I believe it is one reason Aston hotels is always a top pick in agent surveys.

For Aston, loyalty — to Hawaii, Hawaiian culture, guests and travel agents — has been an important pillar of their business for 65 years now. That’s the kind of company that I want to work with, and I bet you do too.

Hawaii is a one-of-a-kind destination. It’s good to know there are people in our industry who are sharing and celebrating the aloha every day.

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