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Hawaii’s largest source market for visitors – Los Angeles – is going to hear a lot about Hawaii throughout September thanks to an intensive campaign blitz led by the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.
Under the theme Hawaii: A Thousand Reasons to Smile, the HVCB, its island chapters and the Hawaii travel industry are running the month-long offensive to boost fall and winter travel to Hawaii. “This is a big, concentrated campaign in our foremost market with a view towards stimulating travel to Hawaii,” said HVCB president John Monahan. “We are using an integrated strategy that produced good results in the Bay Area earlier this year, and we are confident it can be repeated successfully in Los Angeles.”
The multifaceted campaign presents Hawaii’s unique attributes – including its cuisine, music, culture and people – through print, broadcast, online and electronic billboard advertising, social networking, cooking demonstrations and tastings, and live performances.
To help convert business to Hawaii, HVCB’s travel trade team is leading the industry effort to keep the islands top-of-mind among Los Angeles’ travel agent and wholesaler communities. This includes sales calls, agent training seminars with key suppliers, e-marketing initiatives and webinars.
HVCB’s campaign includes numerous consumer events. At The Grove, an upscale shopping resort near Beverly Hill, clients can enjoy a new nightly Hawaii-themed fountain show and two weekends of special events on Sept. 12 and 19. Highlights include tastings of island cuisine, entertainment by the Polynesian Cultural Center, picture-taking at the Big Wave Photo Station, arts and crafts, a marketplace featuring Hawaii-made products, and screenings of South Pacific (Sept. 12) and Lilo and Stitch (Sept. 19). Each weekend, Hawaii travel specialists from Pleasant Holidays can answer travel questions at the visitors center.
Additionally, throughout the month, Los Angeles residents can find a taste of Hawaii in four Whole Foods Market stores: Arroyo, Fairfax, Jamboree, and Venice. At each location, chefs from across the islands are holding cooking classes and tastings to showcase island-inspired recipes.
Throughout September, Los Angeles-based travel bloggers are visiting Hawaii to experience the islands first-hand. Stories of their travels will be shared with readers on their blogs, as well as on HVCB’s new somuchmorehawaii.com blogsite, the campaign’s primary landing page. The blog features Hawaii’s new Internet radio channel on Pandora, where listeners can enjoy an exclusive selection of Hawaiian music on their computers or mobile devices. Additionally, HVCB is using its social networking presence on Facebook and Twitter to stay connected with consumers throughout the month.
Meanwhile, HVCB is meeting with dozens of online and traditional media to further bolster travel to Hawaii. Led by Hawaii’s four county mayors – Bernard Carvalho, Jr. of Kauai, Mufi Hannemann of Honolulu, Charmaine Tavares of Maui and William Kenoi of the Big Island – HVCB and the island chapters are hosting two media events at the W Los Angeles Westwood.
“We have created a solid campaign that’s attractive and in touch with the times,” Monahan said. “We know from research that Los Angeles residents have a strong affinity for our islands and we’re confident our efforts will convince them to return soon or visit for the first time.”