5th Annual China – U.S. Tourism Leadership Summit Held on Hawaii Island

The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA), the state’s tourism agency, welcomed tourism officials from across the U.S. and China attending the 5th Annual China-U.S. Tourism Leadership Summit on Hawai‘i Island today.

US-China Tourism Summit

US-China Tourism Summit

Members of the U.S. Travel Association (USTA) and China National Tourism Association (CNTA), including more than 60 regional tourism directors from the U.S. and China, met at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows. The Summit, considered to be one of the top economic accomplishments by the two countries, is designed to build business through creating relationships and knowledge of both the Chinese and U.S. markets.

“The China-U.S. Tourism Leadership Summit is an important event to build on the growing relationship we have with China,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the HTA. “Since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding in 2007, opening group and leisure travel from China to the U.S., we have seen significant growth in this market, with visitor arrivals projected to reach 91,000 in 2011, up 37 percent over last year. This meeting also offers another opportunity to position Hawai‘i as a global meetings destination as our state prepares to host the 2011 APEC Leaders’ Week, and  builds on the growing interest of our state within the Asia- Pacific region.”

“We are very pleased and proud to host the 5th U.S.-China Travel Summit on the Island of Hawai‘i, and look forward to expanding our ties to tourism directors from both the Chinese and U.S. markets,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi. “We offer a very special kind of experience for travelers, and are at the forefront of emerging areas of the visitor industry such as educational and agricultural tourism. We want to extend to our guests the warm hospitality and aloha that make our island home so special, and we welcome this opportunity to showcase our Island of Hawai`I for these key international travel industry leaders.”

Attendees were welcomed by Roger Dow, president and CEO of USTA, and Qiwei Shao,chairman of CNTA, to discuss and work toward enhancing tourism-related cooperation between the two countries.

Representing Hawai‘i was McCartney and Lt. Governor Brian Schatz, who both addressed the participants. Other speakers included Dr. Rachel JC Chen, Ph.D, Center for Sustainable Business and Tourism, University of Tennessee; Dr. Dai Bin, Ph.D, chairman, China Tourism Academy; Mike Lieberman, president and CEO, Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau; Gary Sain, president and CEO, Visit Orlando; Leigh Von Der Esch, managing director, Utah Office of Tourism; She Quingwen, director general, Tian Jin Tourism Administration; Chen Jianjun, director general, Guang Xi Tourism Administration; and Hao Kang Li, director general, Si Chuan Tourism Administration.

“This event has served as a bridge between the tour and travel industries in both  countries,” said Bruce Bommarito, senior international consulting partner of the USTA. “It also provides an opportunity to meet and build connections with relevant decision makers from China, a rapidly growing market, in the tourism industry.”

Established in 1998, the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, the state’s tourism agency, is responsible for strategically managing tourism to optimize benefits for Hawai‘i that integrates the interest of visitors, the community and visitor industry. Tourism is our state’s leading economic driver and largest employer and the HTA continually works to ensure its sustainability well into the future.

For more information on the HTA, please visit www.hawaiitourismauthority.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter (@HawaiiHTA).

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.

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
  • Fake Hawaii Blogs

    I have to laugh when I run across fake blogs about Hawaii that folks write on the mainland in order to get folks to eventually land upon their travel or tour company.

    Here is an example of another one:

    What’s wrong with the picture second from the top and at the bottom?

    From the Hawaii Adventure Travel Blogspot:

    Thursday, August 13, 2009

    Most big Island resorts in Hilo


    Hilo is the largest city and big island in Hawaii. There are most attractive city in Hawaii which is a main attractions point in this city include museum, parks, gardens and rainbow fall. This city is most popular for its destination, nightlife, sightseeing and one of the most attraction cities for tourists.


    This city is the culture center and home of museums and galleries. This day I see many museums like historical museum which was showing the history and culture of this city by exhibitions, museum of arts which was very nice with latest collections of arts & galleries, and science center which was very nice with many exhibits. This museum was providing many hand to hand exhibits and providing practical facts of some experiments.


    Rainbow Falls is easily reached via a short drive from Hilo. Most Big Island resorts are happy to provide directions and names of various tours that frequent the site. The best time to visit Rainbow Falls is in the morning hours when the sun rises over the area’s mango trees. After witnessing the beauty of the falls, another of the Big Island Hawaii attractions is the natural cave situated behind Rainbow Falls Hawaii.


    Richardson’s Ocean Park is very nice park. There is good attraction point in this city. This is very beautifully decorated that pleased my eyes. Cleanliness was fabulous. This park is very good facilities in tourist include benches, amusement park, playing ground and children can enjoy a lot there as there were beautiful arrangements of playing and fun.

    Six Great Spots on the Big Island

    My Hawaiian Home blog writer Devany Vickery-Davidson asks this question on Aloha Friday:

    …What is your favorite spot on the Big Island?

    So I thought I’d give her 6 spots posted by an LA Times travel writer with some video behind the spots:

    LATimes travel writer Chris Reynolds hits six top spots on Hawaii’s big island, including a fuming volcano, a roaring waterfall and a cooking pig.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUcZRs8FRHQ&hl=en&fs=1&]

    *Update #2* Should Gambling Be Legalized in Hawaii?… POLL

    *Update #2*

    Now the results have swung a bit more here are the current results:

    Yes 63% (17 votes)
    No 30% (8 votes)
    Only on Hawaiian Homelands 7% (2 votes)
    Total Votes: 27

    Voting is still open for those who haven’t voted.  The voting service that I’m using only allows one vote per IP address, so sorry to those with multiple people in their house who may read my blog.

    *Update*
    Interesting results coming in.  Just one vote separates the main two choices.  Poll will remain open for about a week and I’ll bump this every few days just in case you don’t get a chance to see it the first few times it’s listed.

    [polldaddy poll=”1358404″]

    Ehime Maru – 8 Years Ago

    Yesterday, marked 8 years since the Ehime Maru incident off Oahu waters that left 9 crew members dead including 4 high school students after the submarine USS Greenville slammed into it as it was rising to the surface of the ocean.

    The Ehime Maru before being hit by the US Submarine Greenville.

    The Ehime Maru before being hit by the Submarine USS Greenville

    The following is from a Japanese newspaper out of the Ehime Prefecture:

    MATSUYAMA, Ehime Pref. (Kyodo) About 340 people offered silent prayers Tuesday for the nine people who died eight years ago when a U.S. submarine surfaced under a Japanese fisheries high school training ship off Hawaii.

    At a memorial service at Uwajima Fisheries High School in Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture, students, family members and teachers rang a bell recovered from the sunken Ehime Maru nine times at 8:43 a.m. — 1:43 p.m. Hawaii time — the exact moment when the 499-ton ship was struck from below by the USS Greeneville.

    “Tremendous anger and grief have not gone away even after eight years. It is our duty to learn the lessons from the accident,” said Shinzo Imaoka, principal of Uwajima Fisheries High School.

    In Honolulu, 60 people, including relatives of three of the victims, held their own memorial ceremony Monday.

    “I don’t want to bring back the memory of the accident, but I really appreciate so many people attending the ceremony every year,” said Tatsuyoshi Mizuguchi, who lost his 17-year-old son, Takeshi, in the accident.

    Mizuguchi’s son is the only victim whose body was not recovered.

    Hawaii’s Ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro produced the following Ukulele Song for the people of Ehime Maru and entitled it appropriately “Ehime Maru”:

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YbYidBm5GE&hl=en&fs=1]

    Here is a clip of the salvation mission under sea:

    Some shots of Canyon’s XL-16 and Quest ROV during salvage operations of the ‘Ehime Maru’.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HefMaDULYnM&hl=en&fs=1]

    Rain to Appear in Hawaii Court for $40 Million Dollar Lawsuit… Conspiracy?

    Pop star Rain is scheduled to appear in a Hawaii court for a US$40 million lawsuit against the entertainer for a week in March…

    Korean Pop Star "Rain"

    Korean Pop Star "Rain"

    …Rain and his ex-agency JYP Entertainment were sued by Honolulu promoter Click Entertainment for cancelling their planned concert there in June 2007. If Rain fails to show up, he may be subject to an arrest warrant.

    —————

    According to Sixofive1982:

    …Since top star Rain got sued for canceling his Hawaii concert on July 2007, he will be attending a jury trial in America coming March. However, underneath the surface lies a complex conspiracy.

    Click Entertainment, which purchased the right for Hawaii concert and acts as the promoter, claimed that Rain and his agency back then, JYP Entertainment, as well as Rain’s world tour host StarM, one-sidedly cancelled the concert, suing them for 40million dollars in the Hawaiian court.

    At the same time, they sued Rain and StarM for fraud charges in the Korean court. When Rain was making agreements for concert, they asked for terms of installing exclusive stages since there are safety issues.

    But for some reason, the promoter ignored the condition written on the contract. As a result, the star singer who put priority on his fan’s safety, had no choice but to cancel the concert.

    The Korean court has already judged them not guilty since Rain’s side had no intention of making money out of fraud contract and that this was all over the issue of exclusive stage.

    Since it is common sense that top star like Rain would not one-sidedly cancel a concert which is a promise with his fans, Click is continuously annoying Rain with lawsuits after lawsuits. Thus, there are voices asking to rid of unverified promoters who do not have the ability to operate the concert, but just rely on the fame of Korean wave stars.

    A stage official said that “as Korean wave stars start to act overseas, there are many cases of them being damaged while carrying out a concert plan. In order to make sure there are no more victims like Rain, a list of unverified promoters should be made and shared.”

    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.

    Rep. Corinne Ching Calls for Heritage Tourism (Pahoa Take Note)… Videos

    Heritage Tourism is an interesting topic and these recent bills introduced are something I think the town of Pahoa should take note in:

    Pt. 1:

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dMAJ6Q37pw&hl=en&fs=1]

    Pt. 2:

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SU-QuprIbjw&hl=en&fs=1]

    Pt. 3

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVeOmnjNsd0&hl=en&fs=1]

    Heritage Tourism interview with Representatives Cindy Evans Angus McKelvey’ Senator Daniel Inouye Introduces a bill in Congress to designate the downtown State Capitol part of the Heritage of Hawaii. The artfully constructed interface between natural and built environment has been hailed as a work of genius, harmoniously joining land and sea in a magnificent, yet sensitive statement, making the State Capitol Building worth preserving based on artistic merit alone.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdcqAMqyC5s&hl=en&fs=1]


    1. HCR18.DOC HCR18 Status
    Context: THE HERITAGE TOURISM COMMUNITY TO COLLABORATIVELY WORK TO, among other things, …CREATE A HERITAGE TOURISM MARKETING PLAN FOR USE BY THE HAWAII TOURISM AUTHORITY. WHEREAS, the state of Hawaii has a rich and vibrant heritage, blending history, architecture, values, and culture from Data Book; and � ���� WHEREAS, one of the fastest growing niches in the tourism industry is heritage tourism, travel that focuses on experiencing the
    Filesize: 15391
    Electronic File Date: 1/24/2009 12:00:12 AM
    2. HCR23.DOC HCR23 Status
    Context: THE HERITAGE TOURISM COMMUNITY TO COLLABORATIVELY WORK TO, among other things, …CREATE A HERITAGE TOURISM MARKETING PLAN FOR USE BY THE HAWAII TOURISM AUTHORITY. WHEREAS, the state of Hawaii has a rich and vibrant heritage, blending history, architecture, values, and culture from Data Book; and � ���� WHEREAS, one of the fastest growing niches in the tourism industry is heritage tourism, travel that focuses on experiencing the
    Filesize: 15391
    Electronic File Date: 1/23/2009 11:58:28 PM
    3. HR20.DOC HR20 Status
    Context: THE HERITAGE TOURISM COMMUNITY TO COLLABORATIVELY WORK TO, among other things, …CREATE A HERITAGE TOURISM MARKETING PLAN FOR USE BY THE HAWAII TOURISM AUTHORITY. WHEREAS, the state of Hawaii has a rich and vibrant heritage, blending history, architecture, values, and culture from Data Book; and � ���� WHEREAS, one of the fastest growing niches in the tourism industry is heritage tourism, travel that focuses on experiencing the
    Filesize: 15394
    Electronic File Date: 1/24/2009 12:01:36 AM
    4. HR25.DOC HR25 Status
    Context: THE HERITAGE TOURISM COMMUNITY TO COLLABORATIVELY WORK TO, among other things, …CREATE A HERITAGE TOURISM MARKETING PLAN FOR USE BY THE HAWAII TOURISM AUTHORITY. WHEREAS, the state of Hawaii has a rich and vibrant heritage, blending history, architecture, values, and culture from Data Book; and � ���� WHEREAS, one of the fastest growing niches in the tourism industry is heritage tourism, travel that focuses on experiencing the
    Filesize: 15394
    Electronic File Date: 1/23/2009 11:56:36 PM
    5. SCR4.DOC SCR4 Status
    Context: THE HERITAGE TOURISM COMMUNITY TO COLLABORATIVELY WORK TO, among other things, …CREATE A HERITAGE TOURISM MARKETING PLAN FOR USE BY THE HAWAII TOURISM AUTHORITY. WHEREAS, the state of Hawaii has a rich and vibrant heritage, blending history, architecture, values, and culture from Data Book; and � ���� WHEREAS, one of the fastest growing niches in the tourism industry is heritage tourism, travel that focuses on experiencing the
    Filesize: 15525
    Electronic File Date: 1/30/2009 5:32:44 PM
    6. SR7.DOC SR7 Status
    Context: THE HERITAGE TOURISM COMMUNITY TO COLLABORATIVELY WORK TO, among other things, …CREATE A HERITAGE TOURISM MARKETING PLAN FOR USE BY THE HAWAII TOURISM AUTHORITY. WHEREAS, the state of Hawaii has a rich and vibrant heritage, blending history, architecture, values, and culture from Data Book; and � ���� WHEREAS, one of the fastest growing niches in the tourism industry is heritage tourism, travel that focuses on experiencing the
    Filesize: 15524
    Electronic File Date: 1/30/2009 5:50:04 PM

    The Pro Bowl Sucks… It’s All About the Party

    This is the first year in many years that I wasn’t able to be in Waikiki for the annual Pro Bowl Block party that they hold in Waikiki the weekend of the Pro Bowl.

    It’s even more sad to know that it may not ever come back again.

    Here are some videos from the block party that I missed!

    “A Touch of Gold” (Keao Low of  “A Touch of Gold” was my neighbor on Oahu for about 7 years):

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2zxBA4FQ9E&hl=en&fs=1]

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QW-L393tOVg&hl=en&fs=1]

    Miss Hawaii USA Ariana Chew:

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jFdN5TgaBA&hl=en&fs=1]

    NFL Pro Bowl Cheerleaders:

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4khsc1ltxA&hl=en&fs=1]

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1g8S6Qn08s&hl=en&fs=1]

    The funny thing is… the game normally sucks.  It’s all about the party!

    “The future of the Pro Bowl: The Pro Bowl Sucks”

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njvRCx638Zg&hl=en&fs=1]

    Hawaiian Airlines Jet Loses Power to One Engine on Mainland Trip… Lands Safely in Oregon

    A Hawaiian Airlines flight from Maui to Portland with about 200 passengers lost power in one engine, but it landed safely last night at Portland International Airport.

    More Here

    Bank Repo’s Air Kauai Helicopters… Again

    On November 11th, I blogged that Air Kauai had it’s helicopters repossessed.

    The following day, they were able to get them back.

    Well now… they have lost them again!

    airkauai

    Air Kauai Inc., a Lihu’e, Hawaii-based company that specializes in island tours, had its helicopter fleet repossessed.

    According to The Garden Island, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Faris gave the Bank of Hawaii the go-ahead to repossess two Eurocopter AS 350 helicopters last week.  Air Kauai failed to make its December payment of $31,402 to the bank and a $47,600 down payment to the insurance company, the newspaper reported.According to The Garden Island, the company took out two loans…

    More here

    “Eggs ‘N Things” Moves to New Location: Re-Grand Opening Soon

    Waikiki’s infamous restaurant Eggs ‘N Things restaurant is moving to a new location.

    This is the old location at the bottom of McCully Street in Waikiki:

    http://onokinegrindz.typepad.com

    Photo from: http://onokinegrindz.typepad.com

    If you haven’t ever eaten there, I highly recommend the salsa that they provide for the eggs!

    I used to live within walking distance and I used to eat there all the time.  The place would literally have a line-up of tourists waiting to get in the place all the time.

    I’m assuming this new location will provide more seating and less wait time.

    Eggs 'N Things New Location

    Eggs 'N Things New Location

    The grand re-opening of Eggs ‘N Things is scheduled for February 2009, just in time to celebrate our 35th anniversary! Our new location is 343 Saratoga Road, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815. We are looking forward to opening our restaurant doors to provide you with a comfortable and welcoming eatery and the traditionally delicious food you’ve come to love…

    More Here

    Pahoa Ranked #8 on AOL Top Places in the World to Visit

    A couple weeks ago, I mentioned that I was surprised that Pahoa was ranked #8 by Trip Advisor as a top destination to go to in America.

    Now American Online has ranked Pahoa as it’s #8 place in the WORLD as a destination spot!

    “AOL’s nine destinations for 2009 are Arequipa in Peru, Durres in Albania, St George in Utah, Yunnan in China, Oviedo in Spain, Nam Ha in Laos, Spitsbergen Island in Norway, Pahoa in Hawaii and Malvern in Worcestershire.”

    “Currently Hawaii’s hottest ticket, Pahoa is a turn-of-the-19th Century town hedged in by papaya groves and spilling out onto black sand beaches running down the Puna coastline. After a day spent surfing or diving you can chill out on the beach with a cocktail and enjoy a performance by the local hula dancers.”

    Pahoa Ranked #8 in TripAdvisor Travelcast Top 10 Destinations

    I don’t know where these folks get their statistics, and I really can’t believe this latest one.

    TripAdvisor has ranked Pahoa as the number 8 travel destination in the United States.  Coincidentally, it also listed Keauhou as number 3.

    Here is the complete list:

    TripAdvisor TravelCast Top Ten U.S. Destinations for 2009

    1. St. George, Utah
    2. Englewood, Florida
    3. Keauhou, Hawaii
    4. Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania
    5. Haines, Alaska
    6. Bainbridge Island, Washington
    7. New Buffalo, Michigan
    8. Pahoa, Hawaii
    9. Gurnee, Illinois
    10. Ruskin, Florida

    Waikiki… Again?

    When I lived on Oahu, I used to always cruise Waikiki just to get a good walk in.  I lived across the Ala Wai canal and I would typically cross the Ala Wai and then cruise Kalakaua all the way to the zoo and then walk back up Kuhio Blvd.  I wish I would have had a camera with me back then.  There is so much crazy stuff that happens pretty much nightly that never makes the news.

    Now that there are more and more people with cell phone cameras, digital cameras, and the ability to upload their clips to the internet, more and more people are uploading clips caught on their tourist trips to Hawaii.

    Here is a clip I just noticed this morning that happened last night.  I thought the cop was about to run over the guy!

    This guy just stood on the middle of the road yelling nonsense while stopping traffic for a good 20min+ The cops finally came and he did nothing! What’s all the yelling for? I seriously thought he was gonna try and book it”

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGQNlh_l75c&hl=en&fs=1]

    Lightning Hits Hawaiian Flight in Air

    …No one was injured when Flight 102, which left Honolulu at 5:20 a.m., was struck by lightning while in flight, said Keoni Wagner, Hawaiian’s vice president of public affairs.

    He said some “superficial damage” was done to the plane…

    More Here

    Go! Pilot… “Regularly Napped About Once a Week for About 20 Minutes at a Time While in Flight”

    The Go! pilot who fell asleep during a routine flight from Honolulu to Hilo made this astonishing admission:

    The captain who fell asleep on a go! Airlines flight to Hilo from Honolulu said he regularly napped about once a week for about 20 minutes at a time while in flight prior to a Feb. 13 incident when the plane overshot the Hilo airport, according to a National Transportation Safety Board report…

    Still want to Fly Go?

    Korean Air Confirms Expanded Hawaii Service

    A month ago I blogged about Korean Air possibly expanding it’s service in Hawaii.

    It has now been confirmed:

    Korean Air will begin flying 747s to Hawaii on March 1 in response to higher demand for nonstop service between Seoul and Honolulu.

    A spokesman for Korean Air said 581 more seats will fly to Hawaii per week, a 28 percent increase over current capacity…

    More Here

    korean_air