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
  • 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.


    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.

    Aric S. Queen Meets Traci Toguchi on Rough Sundays

    I’m so stoked to be the link between Aric S. Queen and Traci Toguchi.


    Aric and Traci’s Twitter Pictures


    They were able to get together while Aric was here in Hawaii on the So Much More Hawaii Tour and they put together the following show on the popular online radio show “Rough Sundays” where Traci was the Co-Host:

    Click Arrow To Play Show

    from a ridiculous balcony in waikiki, a slight change to the show this week. co-hosted by a former miss hawaii, we’ll play a few oldies, but more current locals you should be checking out. a grammy-nominated artist walks us through ’slack-key’, the island’s most well-known dj pops in, a larger-than-life legend and much more

    Breakfast With the Mainland Bloggers

    So I’ve blogged quite a bit about the So Much More Hawaii Tour of mainland bloggers visiting Hawaii.

    Some are already home, others are at the airport now as I post this and others are stuck in traffic in LA.

    On Tuesday morning the Bloggers that remained at the Hilton Waikoloa Village all gathered for an all you can eat breakfast buffet that was fit for a king.

    Breakfast at the Waterfront Cafe

    Breakfast at the Water's Edge

    I stayed up the night before having a couple beers with Aric S. Queen and gave him the rest of the 6-pack to take back to his room when he left after partying for a while.

    I guess that’s why you don’t notice him in any of these breakfast pictures.

    Breakfast at the Water's Edge

    Breakfast at the Water's Edge

    The Hilton Waikoloa has a lot of nice restaraunts

    waikoloa 174

    There is the Kirin Chinese Restaurant.

    Lagoon Grill

    The Lagoon Grill sits right off the Dolphin pools.

    And you can’t miss this gorgeous Japanese Restaraunt Imari’s.

    Imari's Koi Pond

    Imari's Koi Pond

    I do recommend making reservations at most of these restaurants as they are quite popular.


    If Italian is what you are looking for, then Donatoni’s Antipasta Bar is just for you.


    And if you’re just looking to have a night cap, then Malolo Lounge is your place.

    Malolo Lounge

    You can view all of the restaurants as well as make reservations for any of them by clicking here.

    So Much More Hawaii Checks in at the Hilton Waikoloa

    Earlier, I mentioned that the bloggers from the mainland on the So Much More Hawaii tour had dinner at the Seafood bar in Kawaihae.

    After dinner, they then proceded to check into one of the nicest hotels in all of Hawaii, the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

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    Sheila, Leah and Mark checking in

    The nice thing about the hotel, is that you have several choices on how to get to your room.

    You can walk down one of the many hallways that’s filled with art.

    waikoloa 051

    Hawaiian Hut

    Christine and Aric

    Christine and Aric check in

    Mark checks in

    Mark checks in

    Some of the bloggers chose to walk to their rooms while others decided to take the tram.

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    The Tram at the Hilton

    I chose to walk to my room at the time, but my preferred mode of transportation while I was staying there was definitely the boats and the friendly workers.waikoloa 123

    The nice thing about taking the boats was I got to see parts of the hotel that I wouldn’t have been able to see other wise.

    All Aboard at the Lagoon Tower

    All Aboard at the Lagoon Tower

    View From Boat Ride

    View From Boat Ride

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    The property itself was great, but I was also very impressed with the room that I got.

    Standard Room

    Standard Room

    You know the place is nice when you have a bathroom like this…



    And a closet like this:

    Closet comes complete with mini fridge, Iron and ironing board

    Closet comes complete with mini fridge, Iron and ironing board

    Even the Shampoos/Conditioners/Lotions and shower cap were top of the line… Now you see them:

    Shampoo/Conditioner/Lotion and shower cap

    Shampoo/Conditioner/Lotion and shower cap

    Now you don’t…

    Poof... I think a menehune came into my room when I was out enjoying the property

    Poof... I think a menehune came into my room when I was out enjoying the property

    We checked in pretty late and it was already dark and the bloggers were pretty tired from the day’s activities, so blogger Aric and I stayed up a bit and talked story and drank a few beers together.

    Aric supporting our local breweries

    Aric supporting our local breweries

    We had a lot of fun sharing stories and learning about each other.  He’s got a great project coming up that I’ll be blogging about a bit later.

    Here is his take on the Hilton Waikoloa Hotel (I didn’t have a tape recorder so I just used my camera as if it was one):


    Mainland Bloggers Visit the Seafood Bar in Kawaihae

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    Everyone around the world knows that the economy is tanking right now, and with the economy tanking Hawaii’s tourism has taken a real big hit.

    The Hawaii Tourism Authority is being creative and thinking outside of the box so to speak in looking for new ways to bring tourist to the Islands.

    The most recent project, So Much More Hawaii has brought well known bloggers from the mainland to visit the islands and blog about their experience in real time via the internet using their blogs, twitter, and other forms of Social Media.

    waikoloa 246

    Last night I had a chance to catch up with the group at the Seafood Bar in Kawaihae.

    waikoloa 017

    They were a gracious group of folks that invited all of us that wanted to “Tweet” up with them to sit right down with them.

    waikoloa 007

    Of course there were a few local online folks there as well.  Baron Sekiya, Charles Bohannan and Laura Kinoshita showed up to give some aloha to the bloggers.

    Fellow Blogger Stalkers Laura and Baron

    Fellow Blogger Stalkers Laura and Baron

    Cilantro Media Event Coordinator  MJ Miller was the coordinator of this trip and has done a great job in keeping them on “Hawaii Time”.

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    Here is MJ discussing the purpose of this So Much More Hawaii Tour:


    Of course all of this wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of Christine Lu and her adorable son Kyle.

    Christine and Kyle

    Christine and Kyle

    It was a great “Tweet Up” and I just wish I had as nice as a camera as Baron (Below in the white shirt)

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    Blogger Jim Turner discusses some of the events that he has done on the islands.


    After dinner was consumed, the bloggers were rushed off to the beautiful Hilton Waikoloa Village Hotel.  I’ll write more about this in a little while.

    You can click below for a larger picture of the pictures from dinner at the Seafood Bar in Kawaihae:

    So Much More… To Catch Up On

    I just got back from a great night with the So Much More Hawaii Bloggers from the mainland.

    waikoloa 003

    Now I have So Much More to catch up on now.

    It was a great evening.  Look for an upcoming post in a few hours with the pictures and videos of the last 20 or so hours spent at one of the most beautiful hotels in the worldThe Hilton Waikoloa Village.

    waikoloa 238

    How I ended up at the hotel itself could be a whole story in social media and networking in itself… Thank you Twitter.

    A glance left from my lanai

    A glance left from my lanai

    A glance right from my lanai over looking the dolphins

    A glance right from my lanai over looking the dolphins

    I need to pick up my son and catch up on some other things first.

    I will be writing a very lengthy blog this evening as I’m downloading movies and trying to figure out which of the many pictures of this gorgeous place to actually use on my blog… and which to just leave in a gallery.

    There is just so much art all over the place, there was no way that I could even begin to capture it all.

    It was great to meet some of the more well known bloggers in this world and each one of them has a great story to tell.

    Right now, I have to catch up on some things… because there is SO MUCH MORE HAWAII things to do right this second.

    So Much More Hawaii – Scheduled Tweet Ups and Hawaii Contributors

    The Hawaii Tourism Authority has launched it’s new website.

    The following folks are on the list of the Hawaii  contributors via twitter and their personal blogs.

    You can click each picture below to take you to their twitter sites:

    Christine Lu Neenz Faleafine Marijane Miller Chris Noble David Uchiyama Bruce Fisher Yaling Fisher Hawaiian Airlines Rebecca Pang Burt Lum Ryan Ozawa Roxanne Darling Share Your Table Shane Robinson Nathan Kam Melissa Melissa Damon Tucker Kris Bordessa Leslie Lang Tiana Mayumi Martin Stefani Newman Liza - A Maui Blog
    The following is a list of Tweet ups that will be held for the mainland bloggers as they visit the island:


    Wednesday, May 27, 2009
    Tiki’s Bar and Grill
    6:00 p.m. – closing
    $2 Budlights and Marketing Director, Michael Miller will be inventing a special SMMH Drink for the vent!
    >>It’s open mic night, so this is the night to get some worldwide exposure.


    Thursday, May 28, 2009
    Grand Hyatt Kauai
    8:00 p.m.


    Sunday, May 31, 2009
    Grand Wailea
    6:30 p.m.*

    Big Island

    Monday, June 1, 2009
    Hilton Waikoloa
    6:30 p.m.*