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Big Island Visitors Bureau Announces What’s Hot on the Big Island in October

With our incredible diversity of natural landscapes and seascapes, agriculture, culture, history, and places for visitors to call home while here, Hawai’i Island is clearly a BIG and inspiring getaway!


McNeil Wilson Takes Over PR for BIVB. McNeil Wilson Communications (MWC), a Honolulu PR firm with a specialty in tourism marketing, has been hired to manage public relations for BIVB. MWC’s clients include Hawaiian Airlines, Hawai’i Visitors and Convention Bureau, Marriott Resorts Hawai’i, Prince Resorts Hawai’i, Polynesian Cultural Center, and USS Missouri Memorial. The primary PR contact is Noreen Kam. She can be reached at  noreen.kam@anthologygroup.com and (808) 539-3422.
Hawai’i Island Tour Companies Earn “Green” Certification. Hawai’i’s first-ever certification program for “green” tourism has validated the commitment to sustainability by five entities operating on Hawai’i Island: Atlantis Submarines Kona, Volcano Discovery, Jack’s Diving Locker, Pacific Islands Institute, and Hawaii Forest & Trail. The program was created by the Hawai’i Ecotourism Association to encourage more “green” tourism statewide, support conservation, and raise awareness among visitors. Each entity earned the certification following an evaluation of their ecotourism operations and principles. www.hawaiiecotourism.org.

The Humpbacks are Back! The first official whale sighting of Hawai’i’s annual humpback whale migration, which runs November through May, was reported by six lucky passengers and their captain aboard a Sea Quest charter on Monday. The early arrival, which appeared to be a yearling, was spotted slapping its tail on the surface in waters outside West Hawai’i’s Hōnaunau Bay. For more information on Hawai’i’s humpback whales, visit the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary website, http://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov/. 

The Lyman Museum presents a special exhibit “Hawai’i’s Volcanoes: 1800s to Present” from Dec. 9, 2011 through Mar. 3, 2012, featuring historic paintings, photographs, film footage, oddities & curiosities. In celebration of Hawaiian Volcano Observatory’s centennial, paintings from the museum’s collections by Hitchcock, Bailey and Furneaux will be on display, along with volcanic specimens and film footage of Kīlauea eruptions as early as the 1930s. Missionary Sarah Lyman’s written accounts of earthquakes and eruptions are also included. Visit www.lymanmusuem.org.

Oceans of Fun! The Hanamana is a sleek, 38-foot custom sportfishing boat out of Honokōhau Harbor that promises adventure and fun for everyone.  You and your party of up to six people can snorkel, see dolphins, fish and enjoy a special year-end discount of 15 percent off of the regular rate of $599. Your discounted price comes to $509.15, and does not include tax and gratuity. Call (808) 331-1742 for reservations, and mention BIVB. Visit www.hanamanaboatcharters.com.

Ocean Sports announces another new fantastic water fitness activity: Aqua Tahitian! Dance your way to fitness with this dynamic workout combining lively Tahitian beats with the gentle resistance of the water. And, best of all, you don’t need previous dance experience or your wallet to join this complimentary pool party. Offered Monday thru Friday at 11 a.m. in the Hilton Waikoloa Village’s Kona Pool. For information or reservations, call (808) 886-6666 ext. 103, or visit  www.hawaiioceansports.com.

Mmm! Edible Hawaiian Islands announces the launch of its new app for iPhone and iPad, available on iTunes, free until the end of October. Take the flavor of the Hawaiian Islands with you everywhere and access all the farmers markets, local dining guide, mouth-watering recipes and articles about the people, places and food of Hawai’i. Visit www.ediblehawaiianislands.com for details.

Reeling in the Savings. Enjoy a half-day, four-hour sportfishing charter in Kona with Humdinger Sportfishing for $340.  Want to stay out longer? Upgrade for $100/hour. Call Captain Jeff Fay at (808) 325-3449 to take advantage of this special rate. Must book and pay for charter by Nov. 31, 2011, charter must be taken by Oct. 31, 2012. Visit www.HumdingerSportFishing.com.

Looking for more to do? Click www.bigisland.org/calendar for detailed information about additional Hawai’i Island happenings throughout 2011, like this special hula performance:

Na Mea Hawai’i Hula Kahiko Performance (Saturday, Nov. 5) – See traditional hula and chant performed outdoors on the hula platform overlooking Kīlauea Crater featuring Halau Hula Ka Noeau, starting at 10:30 a.m.  Observe Hawaiian cultural demonstrations at Volcano Art Center Gallery, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. Free; park entrance fees apply. Call (808) 967-8222 or visit www.volcanoartcenter.org.


Kilauea Lodge Now Offers the Ola’a Plantation House, a historic 1935 property, among its Volcano lodging offerings. This beautiful two-bedroom cottage sits just a block away from the main lodge and across the street from Tutu’s Place, another historic Volcano Village home. Both homes can be booked together for larger gatherings. The Ola’a Plantation House has two bedrooms, a large living room with wood burning fireplace, a sun room and spacious kitchen, heated towel warmers, TV, DVD player, free Wi-Fi, original art and spacious gardens. Contact Kilauea Lodge at www.kilauealodge.com for reservations.

Discover Hawai’i, the Big Island and receive an air credit on every room booked! Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa is participating in Starwood Hotels & Resorts Hawaii special air credit group room offer. For groups staying a minimum of 25 peak rooms, each room receives $100 in air credit. Blackout dates may apply as well as other terms and conditions. Offer expires Dec. 31, 2011. Visit www.SheratonKeauhou.com or call Brina Fritzsche at (808) 930-4875 for more information.

Prince Resorts Hawai’i Giving Away Free Nights This Fall. Rates at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel start at $289 for terrace accommodations; stay for two consecutive nights and the third night is free! Valid until Dec. 22, 2011. Mauna Kea Beach Hotel rates start at $500 for mountain view accommodations; stay for three consecutive nights and the fourth night is free, valid until Dec. 17, 2011. Prince Preferred members receive 1,500 bonus Hawaiian Miles. Some restrictions apply. Call 1-866.Prince.6 or visit www.PrinceResortsHawaii.com/FreeNight.

Beautiful, secluded Kipuka Cottage near Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park announces an early Christmas present for guests who reserve dates between Dec. 1 and Dec. 25. Kipuka is offering a 15 percent discount on any stay of two nights or longer for these dates. Make reservation requests at http://kipuka-cottage.squarespace.com.


Honu’s Restaurant Is Open in Historic Kailua Village!  Overlooking the white sand beach at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, guests will enjoy a wonderful selection of island salads and creative new seafood dishes, as well as lavish seafood and prime rib buffets, all in the style of Hawai’i Regional Cuisine.  Located right on Kamakahonu Bay with its historic heiau and bustling ocean activities, patrons can relax on the spacious lanai around inviting fire pits while sipping tropical delights.  For more information visit www.konabeachhotel.com.

The Fairmont Orchid Hawai’i is pleased to offer Lifestyle Cuisine Plus, a menu available upon request catering to guests with specific diet-dependent conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and gluten-free, as well as unique dietary preferences including macrobiotic, raw and vegan diets.  Guests can now enjoy delectable dishes such as Seared Ahi Penne Pasta (Diabetes), Kalbi Chicken Vegetable Fried Rice (Gluten Free) and Buckwheat Noodle Stir Fry (Vegan) at any of the AAA Four Diamond Resort’s award winning restaurants.  Learn more at www.fairmont.com/orchid.

For the ninth year, Mountain Thunder will serve as the official coffee mill and roastery for the 41st Annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, Nov. 4-13. In celebration of this esteemed position, Mountain Thunder is offering free USPS shipping to the mainland U.S. on orders of two pounds or more of Organic Private Reserve French and Vienna roast orders. Visit www.mountainthunder.com or call (888) 41-4Kona.

Special note to media: The Big Island Visitors Bureau (BIVB) recognizes the use of the ‘okina [‘] or glottal stop, one of the eight consonants of the modern Hawaiian language; and the kahakō [ā] or macron (e.g., in place names of Hawai’i such as Kīlauea). However, BIVB respects the individual use of these markings for names of organizations and businesses.

For more information on Hawai’i Island, please visit http://media.bigisland.org

Big Island Visitors Bureau Presents Check to Hawai’i Island United Way

Media Release:

Representatives from the Big Island Visitors Bureau presented a check for $2,320 to the Hawai’i Island United Way this afternoon. The gift was a result of a follow-up promotion to meeting planners who attended PRIME2011 earlier this year at the Hawai’i Convention Center on O’ahu.

Big Island Visitors Bureau and Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods Present Hawai'i Island United Way With Donation

PRIME2011, held June 8-11, was attended by more than 100 qualified planners representing North America, Australia, China, Korea, Japan, the Philippines, and Europe. PRIME’s goal is to provide an opportunity for hospitality industry suppliers to conduct business and develop new business with these meeting planners, and to share all that makes Hawai’i the perfect meeting destination. Held on Hawai’i Island for the past three years, PRIME moved to O’ahu this year, leaving Hawai’i Island with a challenge to gain exposure in other ways.

This prompted the team at BIVB to come up with a post-conference follow-up strategy to reach out to the participants of this year’s event.

“Our goal was to create an outreach program that would leave a lasting impression, forever connecting these planners to Hawai’i, while promoting some of our island’s messaging,” said George Applegate, Executive Director of BIVB. “We worked closely with the County of Hawai’i and The Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative creating a program to plant a koa tree on the island in each meeting planner’s name. The gift was unique and shared a message of culture and sustainability. Each planner received a certificate with GPS coordinates for their tree, a letter from the Mayor, and a notecard and sales DVD from the Big Island Visitors Bureau,” he said.

“Response from the meeting planners has been very positive,” said Debbie Hogan, Senior Director of Sales for BIVB. “It definitely made a lasting impression and, as we hoped, forever connected them to our island home. It also created a ‘chain reaction.’ One planner is considering purchasing a tree for each of their conference attendees when they get to the island. Another is looking at how they can create a similar program in their area.”

It’s not the first time a group has given back to the local community.

“The CMI market impacts Hawai’i Island beyond the travel industry,” said Applegate. “Earlier this year, a convention staying on the Kohala Coast contributed thousands of dollars worth of new computer equipment and software to schools on our island.”

As a result of working with The Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative at Kuka’iau Ranch, a donation check was provided to the charity of BIVB’s choice, which was the Hawai’i Island United Way, an organization that supports Hawai’i Island charities. Nearly all money (98 percent) raised on Hawai’i Island stays on Hawai’i Island, benefiting specific programs that have excellent track records of service and positively influence the lives of the community, from keiki (child) to kupuna (elder).

December Big Island Adventures Await You!

Media Release:

Outdoor adventure is practically everywhere you look on Hawai’i Island. Hikers can walk in sand and snow and across a steaming volcanic crater-all in one day. Campers can pitch their tent on a beach, in a lush rainforest or on a high-desert lava plain where the rocks are actually purple. Snorkelers can float among sun-spangled reefs teeming with a rainbow of reef fish, and scuba divers can go deep for a meeting of the minds with manta rays-at night. And those who love the bird’s-eye view can board a helicopter or flight-seeing plane and cruise above this incredible landscape.

And all that is just for starters. Hawai’i Island is overflowing with untold adventure stories.

Lava Love – Kīlauea, the world’s most active volcano, is home to Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, (www.nps.gov/havo) which is such a natural and cultural treasure that it is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in the state. More than 150 miles of trails take trekkers through lava tubes, fern rainforests, lava fields carved with ancient petroglyphs, and to remote campgrounds down by a rugged seashore or up the sometimes snowy summit of the world’s most massive mountain, 13,677-foot Maunaloa.

Kīlauea is also home to Pele, Hawai’i’s tempestuous volcano goddess. Since March 2008, visitors to Halema’uma’u Crater at the summit of Kīlauea have stood in awe at the voluptuous plume of steam that suddenly appeared, rising in a seductive hula from a small (but growing) vent in the crater floor. And at night, sometimes an orange glow from the vent hints at what passionate Pele may bring. Park rangers at the crater-side Jaggar Museum are a fountain of knowledge about the eruption.

Meanwhile, miles away down-slope, molten lava continues to pour into the sea in a dramatic show of steamy fireworks. Visitors can watch it all at a viewing area that requires only a short stroll.

How long will the eruption last? No one knows but back up near the summit, at the park visitors’ center, rangers can tell explorers all about trails, campgrounds, guided hikes and Hawaiian cultural activities. Respected tour companies also offer interpretative drives and hikes through the park.

And down the road, visitors can explore the Kazumura lava tube system-the deepest, longest, tallest known lava tube system on Earth, on a guided trek.

Ocean Commotion – Hawai’i Island has 266 miles of coastline-more than double that of any other Hawaiian Island-and there are many ways to explore the warm, clear ocean that surrounds us. Start with charter boats-traditional Hawaiian outriggers for paddling or sailing, cush catamarans for snorkeling and scuba expeditions to tucked-away bays, sturdy craft for close-up views of lava exploding into the sea, even a real submarine with very big windows. And don’t forget the stalwart yachts that cruise Kona’s famous deep-sea fishing grounds, hooking some of the world’s most spectacular fighting fish. Adventurers can also rent kayaks to discover hidden coves on their own for snorkeling and secluded picnics.

But you don’t need a boat to enjoy the ocean around Hawai’i Island.

Surfing (he’e nalu) was invented by Hawaiians, and the Big Island surf breaks are so treasured that songs and chants have been written about them. Surf lessons are a perfect way to learn where to go and what to do. Two local favorites are Honoli’i Beach Park outside of Hilo, and Kahalu’u Beach Park just south of Kailua Village.

Scuba guides will lead newbies or old salts out into the sparkling blue right from shore along the Kona and Kohala coasts, swirling through arches and caves, racing green sea turtles and flying weightless underwater. Or just put on your mask and snorkel and float in the shallows at one of the many beaches around the island where families love to gather. Or don’t even get your face wet-tip-toe among the tidepools and see a whole miniature world you never knew existed.

Star Struck – The ocean is pretty deep, but not compared to the heavens. At the 13,796-foot summit of Maunakea stand the planet’s most powerful astronomical observatories. From here, telescopes peer billions of light-years into the universe. Before going to the summit, cosmos-oriented dreamers will want to stop at the 9,300-foot visitors’ center and peer through portable telescopes to the rings of Saturn and beyond. Then they can drive or take a tour to the summit, be dazzled by a sky shimmering with more stars than they’ve probably ever seen, and stand next to the giant observatories that, at that very moment, might be discovering extraordinary new truths about our universe.

History and Mystery – The story of this island is chiseled into the very stone, but it is not always an open book. Prehistoric petroglyphs hint at the cycle of life. Stacked-rock ruins of heiau (temples) whisper chants of human sacrifice. Hula dancers’ hands and hips evoke the gods’ desires. No true adventurer can hope to understand the deeper meaning of Hawai’i Island without exploring places like Pu’uhonua O Hōnaunau, (“the place of refuge,”) the relic of a fishing village at Lapakahi State Park, or the commanding heiau, Pu’u Koholā. And to explore the ancient coastal trail known as the Ala Kahakai (King’s Highway) is to feel the mana (power) of all the warriors who marched this way before, in another lifetime.

Pedal Power – With two wheels singing beneath them, cyclists find the Big Island’s good roads and trails, temperate weather, and sweeping scenic views to be a biker’s dream. Cycling fanatics can pedal their mettle along the famously grueling Ironman route, or enjoy a peaceful glide through a former sugar plantation town to Waipi’o Lookout, or get off the pavement and face the challenges of Mana Road on the slopes of Maunakea. They go it alone on their own bikes or rented ones, or hook-up with a bike tour company. One tempting tour goes through Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park and culminates in wine tasting at Volcano Winery. The Big Island’s campgrounds also make it a great place for touring bikers with a tent lashed to their saddlebags. And the valets at our resorts are happy to park your bike too!

Horse Power -Paniolo, or Hawaiian cowboys (and cowgirls), have worked the livestock pastures along the mountain slopes of Maunaloa, Maunakea, Hualālai and Kohala since the 1800s, and continue today. Adventurers who want to ride the Hawaiian range, whether on horseback or from the saddle of an ATV, will find exciting ways to get a glimpse of paniolo life. Scenic, guided horseback rides venture into lush, mesmerizing Waipi’o Valley and across the ranges of North Kohala.

Whale of Fortune-Hawaii’s Big Island welcomes “our” beloved, migratory humpback whales back every winter, and a bevy of whale watching charters depart from our island harbors from December through April, during peak humpback whale season. Visitors and residents can also watch whales from shore, and volunteer for the annual humpback whale counts sponsored by the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, http://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov/welcome.html. But did you know that other whale species can be observed year-round? Pilot whales, pygmy sperm whales, beaked whales, sperm whales and false killer whales are frequently spotted off our shores, as are spinner and bottlenose dolphins. On the Big Island, it’s whale season all year long!

For info on adventure destinations, parks and tour operators, go to www.bigisland.org/adventure.