Hawaii hospitality hawkers hope for high honors
Editors of travel industry magazine TravelAge West have chosen their favorite travel suppliers for the year.
Now its readers are tasked with choosing winners of its WAVE Awards, which stands for Western Agents' Votes of Excellence. Voting will run through April.
Some categories are geographical to keep the competition local. We have no ponies in the cruise race, but in the hotel category, Hawaii players are competing in four areas.
Up for "Best New Property or Major Renovation" are: Embassy Suites Waikiki Beach Walk; the Waikiki Parc Hotel; Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa and the Wyland Waikiki.
Picks for "Beach Resort with the Best Cross-Market Appeal," for travel by families, for romance, sports, value, luxury, etc., are: Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa; Hilton Waikoloa Village; Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort & Spa and Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club.
"Best Resort for a Hawaiian Cultural Experience" could go to: Hotel Hana-Maui; Kaanapali Beach Hotel; Kona Village Resort or the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa.
The best b-2-b relationship-builder may be borne out by votes for the "Hotel Chain Providing the Best Travel Agent Support," including booking tools, marketing support and education programs. Voters will choose either Hilton Family Hawaii, Marriott Resorts Hawaii, Outrigger Hotels & Resorts, ResortQuest Hawaii or Starwood Hawaii Hotels & Resorts.
Hawaii itself was nominated, as were Jamaica, Mexico and Tahiti, for "Best Destination for a Beach Vacation."
"Best Domestic Airline" contenders are Hawaiian Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Continental Airlines and JetBlue Airways.
Pleasant Holidays is up for "Best Tour Operator" for Hawaii and for Mexico. TheBuzz mentions it because for decades the company was called Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays and its business was built bringing vacationers here.
This is the third year of the WAVE Awards, in which previous Hawaii winners include Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Hilton Waikoloa Village, Halekulani, the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Ohana Hotels & Resorts, Caryl Lee of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Hawaii, Hawaii itself and the island of Maui.
Winners will be announced June 5 in California at -- imagine -- a gala dinner.
So where do hospitality industry publications celebrate the best in the business?
Winners will be "roughing it" at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles in Beverly Hills. The gala and the winning businesses will be written up for the August issue of TravelAge.
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: email@example.com