Newspaper does its part to help Hawaii tourism


POSTED: Sunday, November 23, 2008

Flash flood watches and warnings notwithstanding, everybody knows to come to Hawaii for sun, surf and sand - or is that sun, sand and surf?





On the Net:


Canadians are also being encouraged to come for the food.

Readers of the Vancouver Sun on Friday were regaled with a 51-column-inch story encouraging them to come to Hawaii for the food, as well as for the sun and fun.

Fifty-one column inches would be roughly three and a half times the length of the average Buzz column.

While your columnist marvels at, and is envious of the generosity of Canadian newspaper editors toward their writers, there is also a measure of resentment that the Sun's reporter got to splurge in Hawaii on the publisher's dime.

The more important issue, of course, is that such news stories could help wear down the resistance of people who are well-heeled enough to come to the islands, but just don't do the online click-throughs to book the travel.

It is joked by the Sun that Canadians already own two-thirds of Maui.

The story quotes the paper's travel columnist, Ruby Turner, as saying travelers can get “;a deal almost anywhere in Hawaii right now on any of the islands.”;

Many hotels are throwing in a bonus extra night, for a minimum stay of a few nights, Ms. Turner helpfully informs.

The story starts out dissing the food in Hawaii, saying “;it isn't known to be a foodie hotspot.”;

It talks about our love of Spam, as if that were a bad thing.

It refers to Spam nigiri instead of Spam musubi.

Reporter Mia Stansby did confess to enjoying the touristy Smith Family Garden Luau “;in”; Kauai, rather than on Kauai, but perhaps your columnist nit-picks.

Stansby gains foodie-cred by talking about Hawaii Regional Cuisine Inc., a movement started in 1992 by 11 top local chefs and impresario Shep Gordon.

The reporter invoked the name of one of them, chef-restaurateur Roy Yamaguchi - and interviewed his corporate chef, Jackie Lau.

Stansby also went to three farmers' markets on Kauai and interviewed “;third-generation Hawaiian”; farmer Glenna Ueunten, as well as Yvonne Ruiz and Tony Lidgate, of Steelgrass Chocolate Farm.

The latter talked about Hawaii's need to grow its own food in a sustainable manner, not just to ensure the quality of what the reporter called “;Hawaiian cuisine,”; but to be able to feed ourselves.

The final food review was of Hukilau Lanai in Lihue, where Stansby said the Hawaiian butterfish with sugarcane skewered shrimp and the rest of the meal “;came closest to the vision of locally based Hawaiian cuisine.”;

There was no Spam in the meal, but the mushrooms, arugula, sweet potatoes, fiddlehead ferns, goat cheese, feta cheese and Big Island chocolate were all locally produced.