No Sleigh and Reindeer for Santa Claus at a Maui Resort: What about the children?


Santa Claus is known to arrive on his sleigh and reindeer. In warm and sunny Hawaii, this could be a challenge – even for Santa.

Santa Claus, however, had a different plan for Hawaii when surprising a group of children on vacation away from home on the holiday island of Maui. He landed on a helicopter at a Maui Resort Hotel lawn to wish children a special Mele Kalikimaka and handed out presents. Christmas eve turned true magical poolside at the Aston Maui Hill.

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“Seeing Santa stepped out of a helicopter with the ocean in the background on Christmas Eve is a real treat,” said Gregg Lundberg, president of Blue Hawaiian Helicopters. “We participate in this fun event to make sure families, and especially children, have a festive experience by meeting Santa. That’s what the Christmas spirit is all about.”

This is the 35th year that Santa took a detour from the route of his reindeer-drawn sleigh to hop on a helicopter, make a quick stop at Aston Maui Hill, and visit with Maui families and hotel guests.

The Hawaiian style Christmas Eve celebration on the ground of the hotel lawn featured live music, a barbecue lunch, and fun activities for the whole family as everyone eagerly awaited the helicopter drop off of Santa.

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.