Marriott launches 'Spirit of Aloha' tour


POSTED: Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Marriott International Inc. said yesterday it has launched a mainland promotion designed to draw visitors to Hawaii.

The hotel and resort company's month-long “;Spirit of Aloha”; tour started yesterday in San Diego with a Hawaiian blessing that included conch shell blowers, hula dancers and musicians.

A 45-foot-long bus emblazoned with images of Hawaii will make a 1,300-mile journey through major cities across California, Oregon and Washington. The campaign aims to encourage West Coast residents to travel to Hawaii in the coming year and stay at Marriott's five resorts on Kauai, Oahu, Maui and the Big Island, the company said in a statement.

“;Hawaii is the favorite vacation destination for people living on the West Coast,”; said Ed Hubennette, vice president for Marriott in North Asia, Hawaii and the South Pacific. “;Our message to them is that a Hawaii vacation is very affordable right now and offers just the right combination of relaxation and fun to rejuvenate and nourish the soul in these challenging times.”;

The bus will stop at Costco warehouses and call on key travel wholesalers, travel agencies and meeting planners in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco, Sacramento, Portland and Seattle.

“;Costco's travel division is one of our key travel partners, and we're going to have a 'Hawaii Day' at Costco with the Marriott bus parked outside,”; Hubennette said in the statement.

General managers and directors of sales and marketing from each of Marriott's resort hotels in Hawaii and the retail sales team based on the West Coast will join Hubennette on the tour.

Marriott, along with partner Hawaiian Airlines, will be giving away trips to Hawaii for stays in its hotels. Visit