HVCB plans meetings push
Looking to bolster a flat year for meetings, convention and incentive travel, the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau and industry partners are gearing up for a two-week mainland marketing blitz.
Marketing teams will be meeting with approximately 20 to 30 A-list meeting planners per day, said Michael Murray, vice president of sales and marketing for HVCB's convention, meetings and incentive division.
"We've had two banner years for arrivals, but it isn't realistic to keep up with that kind of pace," Murray said.
The meetings, convention and incentive market is an important niche market for Hawaii because it represents six percent of statewide arrivals and roughly 12 percent of all visitor expenditures, Murray said.
"It's our second-highest spe-nding market after Japan," he said. "It's much higher than the North American leisure travel market."
Daily sales presentations marketing Hawaii will be made in San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles from Tuesday through Friday. The following week, May 29-31, HVCB will shift its efforts to northern California for regional sales presentations in San Jose, San Francisco and Sacramento.
"We're reaching out to major producers in our biggest California markets to convey the value of a Hawaii meeting for both clients and exhibitors," said Cheryl Fernandez-Louie, HVCB's Western regional director of accounts.
California is the top arrival-producing state for Hawaii's MCI market, but Oregon, Washington state and western Canada are also strong producers, Murray said.
Joining HVCB on the sales blitz are representatives from Aloha Airlines, Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows, Prince Resorts Hawaii, the Fairmont Orchid Hawaii, the Kahala Hotel & Resort, and Turtle Bay Resort.
HVCB will also be marketing Hawaii at the Meetings Market Academy and Exhibition trade show in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday.
"Florida is a secondary market for us, but it does produce results," Murray said. "It's very cyclical. They like to cycle between Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico and we'd like them to add Hawaii as well."