A deal for visitors that kamaaina can cash in on
ALA Moana Center and an online travel and shopping portal are offering shopping packages for Hawaii visitors and kamaaina, ranging from $25 to $120, unveiled yesterday.
Whaddayounuts? Pay to go to Ala Moana? Who would do that?
Sometimes ignorance is not bliss. One might, after all, miss out on a deal.
Ala Moana's partner in this endeavor is Shop America Tours, a division of the Shop America Alliance, a travel trade group representing shopping and dining venues in tourism destinations. (That's a clue for mainland-bound travelers. Keep reading.)
The basic package offers trolley transportation between Waikiki and Ala Moana; the center's Premier Passport to Savings program offering hundreds of dollars in discounts and gifts-with-purchase at more than 40 merchants; an 11 percent discount pass, personal shopper and fashion consultation services at Macy's; the new Ala Moana shopping bag and the already-free Ala Moana magazine and mall map.
Yes, some of the Passport offers don't kick in until you spend $250 or $500 at certain stores, but others are discounts of 15 percent or more.
Add dollars to the basic package and get additional discounts depending on one's desires.
The $50 Shop, Dine & Shuttle package adds a $20 gift card, redeemable at the center's Ho'okipa Terrace restaurants. Choosing Bubba Gump's Shrimp Co., Romano's Macaroni Grill, Kirin Chinese Restaurant or Longhi's provides additional goodies.
The $70 Shop, Beauty & Shuttle package adds, to the basic package, a $20 gift card at beauty retailers including Sephora, L'Occitane and M.A.C., to name a few. Some of those stores throw in complimentary offers and Ala Moana adds a VIP gift.
The $120 Shop, Spa & Shuttle package includes the basic deal plus a $65 gift card for an Aveda Salon treatment, free stuff from select beauty retailers and that VIP giftie.
Local folks may not need the two round-trip trolley tickets, worth $25 each, but your cousin-guys staying in Waikiki might enjoy the ride.
Now for that clue. Shop America's online site map shows 11 destinations where similar packages are available and Vegas is one of 'em. Some two dozen travel sites offer Shop America packages.
The B-2-B part of this deal is that travel agents receive commission for each package they sell and there's additional incentive to become a Shop America Tours partner.
The moral of this tale is, never let cynicism get in the way of writing a column -- or shopping discounts.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org