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