Hawaii Says Aloha And Mahalo

With Martha Chapman

Entertainment included traditional dances performed by visiting Hawaiians including the lovely Mahina

AC colleagues Cynthia Farrell,
Mark Sniderman and Filip Rotaru with
Kim Brown of WS

Eric Crowley of the US Consulate General in Toronto with Tim Croyle, Lyell Farquharson and Rob Daintree
of WS

George Szigeti of the Hawaii Tourism Authority

There’s nothing like a ray of sunshine from the Aloha State to warm up a gloomy day in Toronto. And some 50 travel industry movers and shakers (airlines, tour operators, key retailers and media types) enjoyed just that – even without their grass skirts on. The venue was the tony Sassafraz resto in the heart of Yorkville.

The occasion was the debut of Hawaii Tourism Authority as a new client of VoX International – and also the announcement that for the first time Hawaii is launching a separate campaign for Canadians.

“Canadians are our number two international market – after Japan,” said George Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority (and former professional surfer, how perfect is that?) But the numbers of Canadians choosing Hawaii had dipped as low as -21 per cent.  The stats have recovered somewhat, but with the total tourism spend on the islands at US$15.4 billion it’s easy to see how important visitors are to Hawaiians.  Plus they love us Canucks because our average stay, at 12.6 days, is longer than other nationalities.

“I love to travel but I never get tired of getting back home to Hawaii,” Szigeti told the group. “The aloha spirit is part of everyday life there: the understanding and tolerance, respect for cultural preservation and community spirit.”

Elements of the new Canadian campaign include social media, a Go Hawaii mobile app, Hawaii VR and, effective April 27, the new Go Hawaii website.

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