Hawai‘i Tourism Oceania (HTO) wrapped up the second annual Meet Hawai‘i Roadshow in Melbourne last night which saw key Hawai‘i industry partners meet with over 150 MICE industry professionals across a series of events in Sydney and Melbourne.
Literally kicking off at the University of Hawaii v University of California Berkeley college football season opener at ANZ Stadium on Saturday, exhibitors and clients enjoyed a VIP event before getting down to the serious business early this week.
Kerri Anderson, Country Manager for Hawai‘i Tourism Oceania said: ” This year we wanted to have a mix of networking and learning opportunities and Saturday’s game gave operators the chance to network with clients in a fun, relaxed environment.
“The workshops in Sydney and Melbourne then saw an opportunity for MICE professionals to meet with 15 industry partners from Hawai‘i to learn more about what Hawai‘i can offer for their future meetings and events.”
Guests in Sydney were lucky enough to experience some of Hawai‘i’s award-winning cuisine and entertainment with a menu created by Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine Chef Russell Siu from long-running Honolulu Restaurant 3660 On the Rise and performances by the talented Hawaiian ukulele player Kalei Gamiao.
Ms Anderson said Hawaii had seen a 23.7% increase in business tourism arrivals from January to June 2016, including a big jump in the number of people travelling to Hawai‘i to take part in an incentive program.
“We know that the Hawaiian Islands’ diverse natural beauty, unique culture, year-round warm weather, world-class venues and legendary Aloha Spirit set the stage for exceptional meetings and events,” she said.
“The growth in incentive programs proves that Hawai‘i can really offer those ‘wow’ experiences and high-end product that clients would like for their incentive groups.
“With its range of accommodation, activities and attractions across the six beautiful islands of Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Maui, Moloka‘i, Lāna‘i and Hawai‘i Island, it is a highly sought-after destination and we see great potential to continue to grow this market in the years ahead.”
Ms Anderson said both leisure and business tourism to Hawaii continued to grow with 333,998 Australians visiting Hawai‘i in 2015.
“Visitor numbers are up 2.8 percent across the board for the first two quarters of this year with 157,000 Australians visiting Hawai‘i over this period.
“In addition, spending by Aussies over that same timeframe is up 7.7 percent to US$397.6 million, – or around US$2520 per person for both leisure and business travel together.
“Hawai‘i is becoming more popular and familiar to Australians each year through both leisure and business tourism and we see it as a two-way street with leisure travellers visiting and seeing potential as a business destination and travellers visiting for work, falling in love with Hawai‘i and returning with friends or family at a later stage.
“We have such high repeat visitor numbers that we would expect that the more experience and knowledge people have with the destination, the more positive the impact on visitation will be in years to come,” said Ms Anderson.