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Hula hits Sydney as Hawaiian tourism comes to town

July 8, 2014 Destination Hawaii, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Sydney’s travel industry hit a Hawaiian hula note last week when the sales and marketing team from Hilton Hawaii held a sales and media blitz at Zeta Bar at Hilton Sydney.

Cynthia Rankin and Valerie Okamoto-Moad, Hilton Hawaii, Sandy Narvaez, Hilton Waikiki Beach, and Maria Alaveras, Embassy Suites, were joined by their friends at Hawaiian Tourism Oceania and Hawaiian Airlines to take selected guests through a Hilton Hawaii product update.

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Cynthia Rankin (Hilton Hawaii), Janaya Birse (Hawaiian Tourism), Valerie Okamoto-Moad (Hilton Hawaii), Chef James Aptakin (Hilton Waikiki Beach), Sandy Narvaez (Hilton Waikiki Beach), Maria Alaveras (Embassy Suites)

Guests learned a lot about Hilton Hawaii, about tourism to Hawaii in general and about Hawaiian Airlines. Grand Prize winner Glenn Wheeler, with Cynthia Rankin

Cynthia Rankin, Hilton Hawaii’s regional director corporate communications, said it was important “for us to come out to see our Australian friends and further develop our Hilton Hawaii relationship with our supporters Down Under.

“There is very strong brand awareness for Hawaii in the Australian market and we are thrilled to be welcoming more and more Australian guests at our properties.”

Guests were treated to an island-inspired menu created by Chef James Aptakin from Hilton Waikiki Beach unnamed (5)and great dancing by the stunning HulaNesian Dance.

Tourism to Hawaii is going gangbusters, guests learned. In 2002 only 92,000 Australians visited Hawaii but by 2013 that had increased to over 305,000.

Hawaiian Airlines is also going from strength to strength, having celebrated 10 years of service to Australia in May. The airline, which has increased its Brisbane services to four-times-a-week direct to Honolulu, will introduce new Extra Comfort from 1 August 2014 – a Premium economy; and it has also announced an up-gauge to an Airbus A330 from Brisbane starting 6 December 2014.

In other initiatives, Hawaiian Airlines has launched ‘Ohana Air By Hawaiian’ flying inter-island service, and a Hawaiian Airlines Shopping Passport. It also offers one-stop Australia to 11 US mainland cities – including New York and Las Vegas! The airline has launched ‘Hawaiian Airlines Sydney Harbour Outrigger Challenge’ and it sponsors North Bondi Surf Lifesaving Boats.

Hawaiian turns 85 years old on 11 November this year, so last week’s event served as an early birthday party.

“Australia has become an important part of our network and over the last decade has become an increasingly important part of the overall tourism base in Hawaii,” Peter Ingram, chief commercial officer of Hawaiian Airlines, confirmed. HulaNesian Dance

“There has been particularly strong demand for travel to Honolulu from Brisbane and we are pleased to be adding additional capacity and comfortable new aircraft to the route. This allows even more Aussie travellers to visit the Hawaiian Islands via Honolulu and connect to any of our 11 US destination gateways.”

In 2013, Hawaiian transported more than 65,000 passengers between Brisbane and Honolulu. Following strong demand from both US and Aussie travellers, on 31 March this year the airline launched a fourth non-stop flight between Brisbane and Honolulu, adding more than 20,000 new seats to the travel markets. The planned up-gauge to an A330 this December will add more than 6,200 additional seats in 2015.

One facet of Hawaiian Airlines’ service that greatly appeals to Australians is its ultra-generous luggage allowance. In this age of penny-pinching over bags, Hawaiian’s generous attitude stands out. Fares from Australia include 64 kilo baggage allowance per person (two free bags weighing up to 32 kg each), complimentary meals, wine and beer, along with onboard service delivered with genuine Hawaiian hospitality.

Written by : Peter Needham

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