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Big Island Visitors Bureau Announces Additions to Marketing Team

The Big Island Visitors Bureau (BIVB) is pleased to announce the appointment of Donna Kimura as marketing director and Teresa Cosgrove as sales manager, two industry veterans who bring more than 40 years of combined experience to the team. Both Kimura and Cosgrove will be based out of BIVB’s West Hawaii office.

Teresa Cosgrove

Teresa Cosgrove

“Having had the opportunity to work with Donna and Teresa in other capacities over the past two decades, I’m extremely pleased to have them join our BIVB ohana [family],” said Ross Birch, BIVB Executive Director. “Not only do they bring a solid track record of success and strong network of industry contacts to the team, but also a deep, personal understanding of Hawaii Island and the passion needed to take our destination to the next level. We’re all looking forward to keeping the momentum moving in a positive direction for our island.”

In her position as Marketing Director, Kimura will be responsible for development, budgeting and implementation of the BIVB’s annual marketing plan for all major market areas for promotion of Hawaii Island as a leisure travel and meeting/convention destination. This includes working with the BIVB’s sales team, advertising and public relations contractors, and the industry at large to identify markets and trends to ensure current strategies are in line with current market conditions.

With 25 years of experience, Kimura worked briefly for BIVB in 2009, managing the activities of its contractors, coordinating promotions, and working on other marketing initiatives before becoming a freelance marketing communications consultant later that year and eventually finding her way back to the bureau. Prior to that, she held public relations and marketing positions with the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, The Orchid at Mauna Lani, and The Ritz-Carlton, Mauna Lani. Kimura is a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she earned her master’s degree in linguistics.

Cosgrove brings more than 15 years of experience to her position as BIVB sales manager where she will provide support to the sales and marketing team in its mission to bring more meetings, conventions, and incentives business to Hawaii Island. Prior to joining the bureau, she was the Leisure Sales Manager at the Hilton Waikoloa Village for 12 years where she served as the liaison between on-property leisure sales and Hilton Hawaii’s regional sales team.

In that role, Cosgrove conducted site and familiarization tours for wholesale and retail industry agents, participated in industry tradeshows and educational seminars, developed leisure promotions for the FIT, military and corporate travel markets, and was responsible for contract preparation and rate planning for wholesale partnerships and tour group sales. She started her travel career at the Hilton Waikoloa Village in 1998 as its Sales Administrative Assistant and then became its Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator in 1999. Cosgrove is a graduate of The University of Texas at Arlington where she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. She is the recipient of the 2002 Hilton Circle of Excellence and has earned numerous Quarterly Sales Goal Achievement Certificates of Accomplishment.

BIVB is a chapter of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, Hawaii’s tourism marketing agency for North America. For more information about Hawaii, the Big Island, visit www.BigIsland.org or call 1-800-GOHAWAII.

 

PRIME Conference Showcasing Hawaii this Week as Host Site for New Business Meetings

Media Release:

The 13th Annual Pacific Rim Incentives & Meetings Exchange (PRIME) takes place this week highlighted by the collaborative effort of Hawaii’s meetings industry to sell the Hawaiian Islands for business meetings, conventions, and incentive trips.

PRIME is the preeminent Hawaii-based conference promoting the state’s meetings industry and the benefits of hosting business events in the islands. Headquartered at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa on Hawaii’s Big Island, PRIME will feature a two-day business meetings tradeshow, September 23-24, that includes one-on-one appointments with visiting meeting planners and special presentations about the islands, followed by three days of site inspections and FAM trips statewide, September 25-27.

“Hawaii is an ideal meetings destination with our strategic location in the Pacific and world-class facilities, and we look forward to showcasing all our islands have to offer during this week’s PRIME conference,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA). “With the APEC Leaders Meeting coming to Hawaii in 2011, HTA hopes to gain exposure for our islands and continues to work toward developing and sustaining our meetings, conventions, and incentive market.”

More than 300 meetings industry executives and exhibitors are taking part in PRIME, including 100 meeting professionals from North America and Asia. Selling the Hawaiian Islands will be sales and marketing representatives from the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) and its island chapter bureaus for Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Hawaii’s Big Island, and resort properties and group service providers statewide.

HVCB, with funding from HTA, is PRIME’s major sponsor and sees the conference as key to both the continued development of new business in Asia markets and changing perceptions within the industry about Hawaii’s image for hosting serious business meetings.

“PRIME allows us to keep nurturing the new business opportunities emerging in Asia and lets visiting planners see for themselves when they come to Hawaii that our industry is all about business and making sure their clients’ measurements for success are exceeded,” said Michael Murray, CMP, CMM, CASE, vice president of sales and marketing for HVCB’s corporate meetings and incentives division.

“PRIME generates new business but is also helping to erase pre-conceived notions about Hawaii’s ability to host business meetings and generate the results that corporations, associations, and groups want in today’s economy,” Murray added.

Priscilla Texeira founded PRIME and serves as managing director for the conference. She noted that PRIME is structured to bring Hawaii’s meetings industry representatives in direct contact with visiting planners and decision-makers.

“We have an excellent group of planners coming to PRIME from outside the state who have great influence over the scheduling of corporate events and business meetings in 2011 and years to come,” said Texeira. “Hawaii’s sales professionals do a superb job of marketing our islands, and I’m confident that PRIME’s format of hosting individual meetings, group events, and FAM tours will lead to many new bookings for the state.”

HVCB is contracted by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the state of Hawaii’s tourism agency, to provide marketing management services for the conventions, meetings, and incentives market segment. HTA was established 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 the state of Hawaii’s economic goals, cultural values, and preservation of natural resources, community desires, and visitor industry needs.

Wanted: Big Island Locals for Grassroots’ “Adopt a Visitor” Program

Big Island resident Tim Sullivan has been quite successful in bridging the gap between many Japanese visitors that come to Hawaii and local community groups and projects that have happened on the Big Island.

A while back, he and I exchanged some dialog about tourism here on the Big Island and a way to possibly get folks to come to the Big Island and see the Big Island in a real way… not just some touristy way.

He brought up the subject again today in his blog posting “Straddling Paradigms: Redistribution of Wealth Through Grassroots’ Capitalism” where he ask the 5 following questions based on Peter Apo’s Pono Prism:

  1. How does the activity make Hawaii a better place?
  2. How does the activity create opportunities for prosperity for all segments of the community?
  3. How does the activity help connect the community’s past to its future?
  4. How does the activity bring dignity to the community and the people who live around it?
  5. How does the activity insure that the people who live in and around it can continue to live there?

Tim has some great answers to these questions that you can view on his blog.

He also surprised me by his apparent willingness to possibly embrace Social-Media and online tools such as Facebook and Twitter.

…Love it or hate it, on-line social media looks like it’s here to stay. Most folks I know seem to be passionately for or against: got some friends who believe Facebook is the Devil (digitally) incarnate, and others who swear by it (my two sons included)…

Well with the recent announcement that the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau is in Los Angeles next week promoting Hawaii in the following fashion:

…To activate the social media network in Los Angeles, HVCB will be reaching out to bloggers, podcasters, and emerging media enthusiasts to assist them in developing content about the islands to share with their audiences. On the evening of September 2, HVCB and Marriott Resorts Hawaii will co-host a “tweetup” (gathering of Twitter users) at The Whisper Restaurant and Lounge at The Grove to further promote Hawaii’s uniqueness as a vacation destination to the area’s most active new media users…

I think now is a good time to really look at what we folks locally at a grassroots level can do to help our islands economy out in the long run.

Not only that… I need a job!

So go check out his post and be sure to get all the way down to “The Bottom Line“.

Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau Looking at Online Media and Bloggers to Bolster Travel to Hawaii… “Hawaii: A Thousand Reasons to Smile”

Hawaii’s largest source market for visitors – Los Angeles – is going to hear a lot about Hawaii’s multitude of charms in an intensive campaign blitz throughout September led by the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) and launched with the help of Hawaii’s four island mayors…

…Underlining its strongest-ever presence in this vital market, HVCB is meeting with more than 60 online and traditional media to further bolster travel to Hawaii. Led by Hawaii’s four county mayors – Bernard Carvalho, Jr. of Kauai; Mufi Hannemann of Honolulu; Charmaine Tavares of Maui; and William Kenoi of the Big Island – HVCB and the island chapters will host two media events at the W Los Angeles – Westwood on September 1 and 2. Chef Jon Matsubara of Azure at The Royal Hawaiian will prepare the Hawaii-inspired menu, while Grammy Award-winning musician George Kahumoku provides the entertainment. The events also offer media attendees the opportunity to dig deeper into the destination through “talk story” sessions with local culinary expert and author Joan Namkoong, cultural specialist Celine Piilani Nelsen, and Kahumoku…

…To activate the social media network in Los Angeles, HVCB will be reaching out to bloggers, podcasters, and emerging media enthusiasts to assist them in developing content about the islands to share with their audiences. On the evening of September 2, HVCB and Marriott Resorts Hawaii will co-host a “tweetup” (gathering of Twitter users) at The Whisper Restaurant and Lounge at The Grove to further promote Hawaii’s uniqueness as a vacation destination to the area’s most active new media users.

Throughout September, Los Angeles-based travel bloggers will also be visiting Hawaii to experience the islands first-hand. Stories of their travels here will be shared with readers on their blogs, as well as HVCB’s new SoMuchMoreHawaii.com blogsite

Full article Here

Here are some of my previous posts the last time the mainland bloggers came for the So Much More Hawaii tour:

  • So Much More Hawaii: Lucky We Live in Hawaii
  • So Much More Hawaii: Breakfast with the Mainland Bloggers at the Waikoloa
  • So Much More Hawaii: Fine Art at the Waikoloa
  • So Much More Hawaii: The Halls of the Waikoloa
  • So Much More Hawaii: Mainland Bloggers Check In to Waikoloa
  • So Much More Hawaii: Pools of the Waikoloa
  • So Much More Hawaii: Japanese Wood Dolls at the Waikoloa
  • So Much More Hawaii: Catching up from the Waikoloa Bloggers Meet Up
  • So Much More Hawaii: Seafood Bar Tweet up.w/ Mainland Bloggers
  • So Much More Hawaii: Mahalo Traci! The Power of Twitter