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“.

The Roaming Gnome Arrives in Hawaii

I’ll be following the Travelocity Roaming Gnome on the top of my blog while he visits the Hawaii Islands.

If anyone is interested in possibly meeting the Roaming Gnome along the way… I’m gonna try and keep close contact with him while he’s on the Big Island.

The Traveloicty Roaming Gnome Get's Leid (Click for other pictures of him getting "leid")

The Traveloicty Roaming Gnome Get's Leid (Click for other pictures of him getting "leid")

Hawaii Tourism Authority Hopes to Boost Hawaii Tourism With Blogging Campaign

Someone asked me if I was paid to be a contributor on this page of the So Much More Hawaii website.

Twitter Profile Picture

Twitter Profile

I can honestly say that I wasn’t.  You can ask fellow FBI Blogger @LeslieLang if we were paid as she was also featured on the site.

I don’t even know the methodology of choosing the twitter users for this project, and I don’t know why my name is listed as a popular tag on the site.

My profile was on there long before the Big Island Visitors Bureau and the Hilton Waikoloa offered a room to me.  I just saw the KHON@ website and I guess $15,000 was spent on the development of this site.

It seems like a very  small investment on the future returns to this island that the project will have.

KHON2 NEWS:

The Hawaii Tourism Authority is hoping to give the world something to talk about.

The HTA has embraced a new social media campaign.

Eight internationally known bloggers were brought to Hawaii to experience the Aloha State, then blog about it.

It is one of the most famous beaches in the world…Waikiki.

But there is so much more to Hawaii.

Like a fruit stand along Kauai’s north shore. One of the many things our eight guest bloggers were exposed to during their “tour”.

“They went all over, again it was a part of so much more Hawaii where we’ve uncovered these little niche things to do. So they kind of use that as a road map, in looking for different experiences” says David Uchiyama, Hawaii Tourism Authority.

The guest bloggers had chaperones.

“We pretty much allowed them to venture out there with our local bloggers. You know the local bloggers knew what kind of message we were trying to get out. And so the local bloggers were huge in terms of being a part of this whole effort.”

It’s a first for the authority.

The eight bloggers reach thousands, but it’s the sharing that counts more.

“We know that people talk to their friends and relatives to decide on their trip. Well social networking has become that vehicle that has become another friend.”

Hoping the venture will make sweet music to a new batch of POTENTIAL Hawaii visitors.

“The other thing that was good about this vehicle is that it touches on a younger market for us. We’re trying to introduce Hawaii to the younger set. And this possibly can come into the mix there too.”

And with the tightening economy..and budget.. the latest venture makes fiscal sense according to the H.T.A.

“We spent about $15,000 the majority of it went towards building the site itself, the ‘So much more Hawaii site.” And then money was used for the coordination.”

The new site highlighting all their adventures is – WWW.SOMUCHMOREHAWAII.COM.

17 Year Old Exchange Student Drowns at Hapuna Today

On Sunday (February 8), personnel from the Hawaii Police Department and the Hawaii Fire Department responded to a possible drowning at Hapuna Beach Park reported by county lifeguards.

A 17-year-old boy was found unresponsive in shallow waters off the beach, where lifeguards retrieved the body. Lifeguards immediately started cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. Fire rescue personnel took the boy to North Hawaii Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:39 a.m.

The victim is a visiting student from Japan here in Hawaii on a student exchange program. He was with fellow students and teachers on a field trip at the beach park when the incident occurred. His name is being withheld pending notification of family members.