HONOLULU – The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the state’s tourism agency, is pleased to announce that the fifth annual Hawaii Tourism Conference will be held on August 7-8, 2008 at the Hawaii Convention Center. Themed, Hawaii a Ma ‘Ō Aku – So Much More Hawaii, this year’s conference will bring together local and national visitor industry experts to discuss the latest tourism issues and trends and will include topics such as Hawaii’s tourism product development, preparing for Korean and Chinese visitors, airlift challenges and opportunities, hotel trends and forecast for 2009, managing Hawaii online and more.
Confirmed speakers and panelists presenting on August 7 include the following:
• Thomas K. Kaulukukui, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Queen Liliuokalani Children’s Centers and Ted Bush, Waikiki Beach Boy, President, Waikiki Beach Services (Keynote morning speakers);
• Martha Rogers, founding partner, Peppers & Rogers Group (Keynote luncheon speaker);
• Mario Mercado, research editor, Travel + Leisure Magazine;
• Jeanne Cooper, contributing writer, SFGate.com;
• Toni Salama, former travel reporter for the Chicago Tribune;
• Christopher Park, general manager, Wilshire Grand;
• Brad DiFiore, Director, Sabre Airline Solutions;
• Seth Tillow, international advertising director, Northstar Travel Media; and
• Matthew Crummack, senior vice president of lodging, Expedia.com.
On August 8, HTA’s marketing partners — the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, Hawaii Tourism Japan, Hawaii Tourism Asia, Hawaii Tourism Europe, Hawaii Tourism Oceania and SMG for the Hawaii Convention Center, will present their 2009 marketing plans.
In addition, The Keep It Hawaii Recognition Awards ceremony will be held during the Tourism Conference, on August 7. The award recipients will be announced during the day’s last general session. This prestigious award recognizes individuals, organizations and businesses that are perpetuating the Hawaiian culture through programs, events or activities for residents and visitors to enjoy.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority was created in 1998 to ensure a successful visitor industry well into the future. Its mission is to strategically manage Hawaii tourism in a sustainable manner consistent with its economic goals, cultural values, preservation of natural resources, community desires and visitor industry needs. For more information or to register, visit www.hawaiitourismconference.com.