A record number of Women’s International Travel Industry Alliance (WITIA) members have registered so far for the September ‘Hawaii Educational’ which will provide a much needed boost in confidence for the Big Island’s Visitor’s Bureau and tourism operators.
Presently suffering from a drop in tourism numbers, the WITIA educational will bring travel and tourism delegates from a membership base of over 20 countries to the Big Island of Hawaii for a five-day stay.
The educational is aimed at bringing WITIA members together to network and discuss global tourism issues and provides a forum to showcase their services, attractions and facilities.
WITIA president, Anne Isaacson said the annual educational was an integral part of the global networking organization which predominantly communicates by email and the internet.
“The educational is a great opportunity to meet members ‘face to face’ and while the internet is a great medium for our organization, the annual gathering reinforces and fosters friendships and continued global networking in the industry.
“It is also an opportunity for a destination to take the stage and familiarize key industry personnel with tourist attractions, accommodation options, tours and activities.
“Our members will be welcomed by the Mayor of Hawaii and enjoy tours of the Parker Ranch Historic Home, the Imiloa Astronomy Center and Maunaloa Macadamia Nut Factory – to name just a few,” Mrs. Isaacson said.
“The educational provides our members with first-hand experience which will enable them to provide potential travelers with suitable advice and recommendations, so it is most beneficial for all parties.
“Given the current downturn in tourism in Hawaii, we hope our group visit and consequent interest will instil some confidence in the industry stakeholders,” she said.
The 2007 educational was held in Fiji and was attended by a total of 26 WITIA members.
“We were made very welcome in Fiji and our group toured many of the local attractions and thoroughly enjoyed the Fijian hospitality.
“For many who had visited the island they were able to refresh their memories and be updated with new developments while first-time visitors lapped up the familiarization opportunities the educational offered.
“Our goal with the annual educational is to choose a travel destination that might be struggling for one reason or another so we can provide some network support and potentially assist with a recovery,” Mrs. Isaacson said.
Following the 2007 educational and as an expression of gratitude for the overwhelming Fijian hospitality, WITIA donated $500 to a rehabilitation center for homeless boys, and an additional $500 to the Treasure House Orphanage.