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Thursday, March 9, 2000


HVCB reorganizes
to boost marketing

The organization has been
structured into four groups as it
tries to improve tourism

By Russ Lynch


In a move it says is intended to boost its tourism promotion efforts around the world, the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau has reorganized its staff structure into four groups that focus on specific marketing and operating functions.

They are the global marketing services section, leisure/ business markets, island chapters, and finance and corporate services.

Each section will report directly to Tony Vericella, HVCB president and chief executive officer, who called the changes "a logical evolution."

Global marketing services will provide support to the ongoing programs of the other groups and the marketing efforts of the entire HVCB in 10 major markets around the world.

The leisure/business markets section will handle tourism promotion in North America, Japan and developing international markets as well as the HVCB's meetings, conventions and incentives section.

Island chapters will represent the separate interests of the Big Island, Maui County, Kauai and Oahu. And the finance and corporate services section will look after the business of running the HVCB itself.

Within global marketing, three departments have been set up:

Bullet A customer trends and communications department, run by long-time research director Barbara Okamoto, who has been promoted to vice president.

It will do market research and operate a Hawaii-based center to communicate with HVCB branches and customers.

Bullet Strategic partnerships, managed by Gail Ann Chew, also a vice president, to develop and implement alliances that increase the HVCB's global marketing presence by linking with promotions by big corporations.

Bullet Knowledge bank and e-marketing, to expand an integrated global Web system to boost the effectiveness of the current high-traffic Internet sites of the HVCB and its neighbor island chapters. The department, headed in its early stages by David Preece, vice president for North America, will build a "knowledge bank" of images and editorial resources about Hawaii.

The HVCB recently had its contract renewed to market Hawaii for the Hawaii Tourism Authority and is getting $34 million from the HTA this year, money gleaned from the hotel room tax.

Vericella said Hawaii has to compete with other destinations in a dynamic and increasingly competitive marketplace and that effort will be improved through the changes, which went into effect immediately.

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