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When judged solely on its good looks, Oahu earns raves as one of the world’s most romantic destinations. But these days, it takes more than just natural beauty to satisfy the desires of traveling twosomes, and Hawaii’s most-visited island is responding in a dazzling fashion.
“Today’s couples are looking for authentic experiences,” said Noelani Schilling-Wheeler, executive director for Oahu Visitors Bureau (OVB). “They’re shifting from exclusively staying on-property to creating distinctive memories through cultural, wellness and outdoor activities. They’re also seeking out foods unique to the destination, and they’re putting equal emphasis on adventure and relaxation.”
For each of those trends, Oahu has an answer. For instance, couples can time trips with special events that immerse them in the island’s rich heritage, and they can share in spa treatments calling on age-old Hawaiian techniques and ingredients. They can indulge their love of sustainable tourism during meaningful excursions such as Hawaii Forest & Trail’s Farm to Forest Adventure; North Shore EcoTours’ low-impact hikes; and a native tree-planting experience at the Hawaiian Legacy Forest at Gunstock Ranch.
If a wedding is driving the trip, Oahu stokes passions with compelling locations, from traditional resort settings to island-wide beaches, bluffs and gardens. According to Roberta Annis, catering and events director for Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, travel advisors are finding particular success coordinating destination weddings in June, September and October, when airfares and hotel rates are lower.
“We are so fortunate to have beautiful, temperate weather year-round, so couples don’t need to worry too much about seasonal elements when planning an Oahu wedding trip,” Annis said.
For advisors who are eager to develop a reputation as an Oahu romance travel specialist, OVB’s niche webinars and ongoing news releases provide invaluable updates on the latest lures for lovers.
“At the same time, agents can connect with potential romance clients in their own community by participating in local wedding expos and meeting people who are newly engaged or celebrating an anniversary,” Schilling-Wheeler said.
The end goal, of course, is to create some happily-ever-after vacations on an island nicknamed — fittingly enough — the Heart of Hawaii.
The DetailsOahu Visitors Bureauwww.visit-oahu.com