HONOLULU, HI – Hawaii’s largest source market for visitors – Los Angeles – is going to hear a lot about Hawaii’s multitude of charms in an intensive campaign blitz throughout September led by the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) and launched with the help of Hawaii’s four island mayors.
Under the theme, “Hawaii: A Thousand Reasons to Smile,” HVCB, its island chapters, and the Hawaii travel industry are launching the all-out, month-long offensive to elevate Hawaii’s position as America’s favorite tropical destination for romance, outdoor recreation, relaxation, and family fun – while showing how affordable it is to visit the islands right now.
“This is a big, concentrated campaign in our foremost market with a view towards stimulating travel to Hawaii as we approach the fall and winter seasons,” said John Monahan, HVCB’s president and CEO. “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 will present Hawaii’s unique attributes that make it one of the world’s most exotic destinations – for cuisine, music, culture, and its people – through print, broadcast, online, and electronic billboard advertising, social networking, cooking demonstrations and tastings at select Whole Foods Market locations, and live performances at The Grove, an upscale shopping resort near Beverly Hills.
Underlining its strongest-ever presence in this vital market, HVCB is meeting with more than 60 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 will host two media events at the W Los Angeles – Westwood on September 1 and 2. Chef Jon Matsubara of Azure at The Royal Hawaiian will prepare the Hawaii-inspired menu, while Grammy Award-winning musician George Kahumoku provides the entertainment. The events also offer media attendees the opportunity to dig deeper into the destination through “talk story” sessions with local culinary expert and author Joan Namkoong, cultural specialist Celine Piilani Nelsen, and Kahumoku.
HVCB’s media outreach will continue on September 3 with an event co-hosted by Starwood Hawaii and ShareYourTable.com at Deliciously Green by Design in Los Angeles. The stylish reception will be an exclusive opportunity for select food writers to experience a vertical fish tasting by Chef Matsubara. The New Hawaii Regional Cuisine menu will also showcase the freshest Hawaii products and ingredients from the state.
To activate the social media network in Los Angeles, HVCB will be reaching out to bloggers, podcasters, and emerging media enthusiasts to assist them in developing content about the islands to share with their audiences. On the evening of September 2, HVCB and Marriott Resorts Hawaii will co-host a “tweetup” (gathering of Twitter users) at The Whisper Restaurant and Lounge at The Grove to further promote Hawaii’s uniqueness as a vacation destination to the area’s most active new media users.
Throughout September, Los Angeles-based travel bloggers will also be visiting Hawaii to experience the islands first-hand. Stories of their travels here will be shared with readers on their blogs, as well as HVCB’s new SoMuchMoreHawaii.com blogsite, which will be the campaign’s primary landing page where travelers can find rich destination content from a local or mainland blogger’s point of view, information about Hawaii events in the Los Angeles area, and current travel deals from various wholesalers. The blog will also feature Hawaii’s new Internet radio channel on Pandora http://www.pandora.com where listeners can enjoy an exclusive selection of Hawaiian music on their computers or mobile devices. Additionally, HVCB will utilize its social networking presence on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/hawaii and Twitter http://www.twitter.com/sharingaloha to stay connected with consumers throughout the month.
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. The travel trade program continues with a “Lei Day” event at The Grove on August 28 from noon to 2:00 pm with the first 1,000 attendees receiving a fresh flower lei. HVCB, its island chapters, and travel wholesaler partners will share the aloha spirit with two-hours of Hawaiian entertainment, including hula shows by Kawailanamalie Productions and hula lessons by former Miss Aloha Hula Malia Peterson.
Free Events at The Grove
HVCB’s campaign will continue with consumer events throughout the Los Angeles market. For the month of September, gorgeous images of Hawaii will be displayed throughout The Grove showcasing people and experiences that make the Hawaiian Islands an inviting vacation destination and features a vacation sweepstakes for four to the Aloha State. HVCB’s presence at The Grove will be highlighted by a new nightly Hawaii-themed fountain show and two fun-filled weekends on September 12 and 19 from 11:30 am to 10:00 pm.
Attendees will enjoy activities featuring island cuisine, entertainment by the Polynesian Cultural Center, picture taking at the Big Wave Photo Station, arts and crafts, and a marketplace featuring Hawaii-made products. Both days conclude with a special screening of South Pacific (September 12), the legendary movie celebrating its 50th anniversary, and Lilo and Stitch (September 19) in The Park. Hawaii travel specialists from Pleasant Holidays will be available to answer travel questions at the Visitors Center each week from Friday to Sunday.
A Taste of Hawaii at Whole Foods Market
Los Angeles residents will also find a taste of Hawaii in four Whole Foods Market stores – Arroyo, Fairfax, Jamboree, and Venice – throughout September as chefs from across the state hold cooking classes and tastings at each location. Guest chefs will utilize Hawaii ingredients available in Whole Foods Market to show patrons simple and tasty island-inspired recipes during the evening classes. Coffees of Hawaii will also be sampling 100 percent Molokai Coffee during lunch hours at each store location. Schedule is as follows:
• September 9 – Jamboree
• September 10 – Fairfax
• September 14 – Venice
• September 15 – Arroyo
• September 17 – Fairfax
• September 19 – Arroyo
• September 23 – Venice
• September 24 – Jamboree
“HVCB, its island chapters, and the Hawaii travel industry 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.”
For more information about Hawaii, the Islands of Aloha, visit GoHawaii.com/fun.