Japanese publisher will open Waikiki office
Strengthened demand for Hawaii as a visitor destination and second-home market for the Japanese has enticed Ei Publishing Co., a major Tokyo-based magazine press, to open its first Hawaii office.
Ei Publishing, which publishes more than 60 magazine titles in Japan -- including several that focus exclusively on Hawaii as a place to visit and live -- will use its new Waikiki location to expand its coverage of the aloha state, said Kenton Kihara, coordinator for Ei Publishing's Hawaii office.
Last year the company launched Hawaii Style and Hawaii Bon, two magazines designed to convey more than the package-tour experience by introducing readers to Hawaii's culture and lifestyle, he said.
"They have been very successful," Kihara said. "There is a growing market of people in Japan who are very interested in coming to Hawaii to live or at least for much longer stays."
An increase in Japan's aging population of empty nesters and retirees has contributed to growth in the number of visitors who can vacation in Hawaii and even live here.
On the flip side, the number of parasite singles, those 30- to 40-year-old single women who still live with their parents, is also growing, Kihara said.
"Both of these groups have plenty of disposable income," he said. "I think Hawaii will continue to see growth in their length of stay and in their spending."
Hawaii tourism officials also have identified the continued potential of the Japan market, said Marsha Wienert, state tourism liaison.
"The Japanese population is aging and has created a market niche with great potential for Hawaii," Wienert said. "They have the income levels and the time to travel."
Hawaii is enjoying resurgence in Japan, Kihara said.
"Right now in Japan you can find lots of Hawaii-themed restaurants, Hawaii art shops and Hawaiian-style entertainers," he said.
Seijun Hata, head of Ei Publishing's Hawaii office, said that his company's expansion into Hawaii will help strengthen its eastbound visitor market.
"We strive to create repeater and long-stay visitors to Hawaii," Hata said.
Up until now, Ei Publishing has only tapped Japan advertisers for its publications, but with the opening of its Waikiki office at 460 Ena Road* it will begin selling space in their publication to Hawaii advertisers.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
» The newly opened Hawaii office of Ei Publishing Co. is at 460 Ena Road. A story on Page C1 Saturday gave an incorrect address.