Doing The Hawai’ian Hula

with Martha Chapman

Colin Wood – “Mr. Hawai’i” in Canada

Stacey Taves of Expedia CruiseShipCenters came prepared!

Sam Moe: what an ambassador!

On a blustery, rainy night, there’s nothing like being greeted by a very handsome, extremely bare-chested man who insists on draping a necklace around your neck.


Sadly, I was not the only person at the Hawai’i Tourism Aloha Canada event enjoying such hospitality from dancer Sam Moe, visiting from Oahu. All 200 guests at the event, held near YYZ at the Congress Centre, received such a hello.  And Sam was just one of 22 in the delegation who had come from Hawai’i to spread a little warmth (and product knowledge) from the tropical islands.


First there was an hour-long trade show featuring the 17 supplier partners including airlines, tour operators and hotels. And later an island-by-island update full of meaty info, a generous buffet dinner and, of course, hula dance lesson break.


Some of the interesting things we learned about the “big island” of Hawai’i included:

  • It features more oceanfront golf holes than any island in the Pacific
  • Clients can do night diving with manta rays (cool!)       
  • Visiting kids can become Junior Rangers in the National Parks (but they have to promise to be the best Junior Ranger they can be)
  • Helicopter rides? You have the option of doors on. Or off.
  • Adventure seekers can kayak through canals which were once irrigation ditches on sugar plantations


And about sister island Kaua’i?


  • Not true that there’s “nothing to do”: there’s tons for the client who loves the great outdoors. But nightlife is definitely on the quiet side.
  • Your clients can rappel down a waterfall, go mountain tubing or take a zodiac tour into sea caves
  • Ziplining is so popular there are six companies, one featuring a run over 1,200 meters long. Yup.
  • No buildings are allowed higher than the tallest palm (i.e. 4 storeys)
  • Dog-loving clients can check out a canine for a day from the local humane society which will provide towels for the car and a map of doggie-friendly spots – and tips on how to adopt, which several Canadians have done. 

Yes there are no all-inclusives in Hawaii. And yes the dollar is a factor. But as Vision agent Elaine Higgins, who goes to Kaua’I every year told me, “Everybody has Hawaii on their bucket list.”  And, I have to agree, for a good reason. Hula on!

Jennifer Rivard and Ed Day, repping Walt Disney Aulani Resort

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