Hawaii lover nominated for 2 travel blog awards


POSTED: Friday, February 27, 2009

Hawaii-addicted travel blogger Sheila Beal has been nominated for two awards by Lonely Planet Publications.




On the Net:


» www.govisithawaii.com


» http://sn.im/cpjli


» www.andybeal.com


Among 14 categories, GoVisitHawaii.com is nominated for Best Destination Blog and for Best Video Blog, for its YouTube channel.


More than 500 blogs were nominated and the top five in each category received more than 100 nominations each.

Beal, a North Carolina resident, started blogging about Hawaii in March of 2007.

“;I started writing about Hawaii because I really love it and ... I just can't explain how much I love it, love the aloha spirit, the diversity of the terrain ... all of it,”; she said.

Additionally, she knew of no other blog or online resource “;that were like mine, strictly unbiased and not trying to sell anybody anything,”; she said.

She imagines writing for a couple “;that has saved for many years to go to Hawaii and it has been their dream vacation. When they go, I hope by reading my blog, and the tips, they have the best time they possibly could while they're there.”;

Many repeat visitors post comments on the blog as well.

A confession in one of her posts may surprise readers.

“;Would you believe I never wanted to go to Hawaii in the first place?”;

She did come, and, captivated, she was hooked and has been here more than 10 times since 2003.

The YouTube videos are mini-travelogues with alluring scenery and they also rake in comments, but it is her own visits that fuel her blog posts.

Beyond inspiring readers to visit and linking them to travel providers, “;I want them to be polite visitors, to appreciate the culture and get into it as much as they can - and I want them to take care of the land while they're there.”;

She has blogged about volunteer opportunities and one of her readers spent part of his vacation picking up trash for a Maui nonprofit.

When she is not blogging, she works to support her husband Andy's Internet marketing and reputation management consultancy.

He also happens to be her travel partner, and is responsible for about 90 percent of the photos at GoVisitHawaii, she said.

The deadline for casting blog ballots on the Lonely Planet site is midnight Pacific Time March 20.


Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Reach her by e-mail at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).