Hawaii Tourism Oceania wrapped up a three-city Australian east coast showcase in Sydney last night, hosting an event to celebrate ‘malama‘ with travel industry partners and media at the Amora Hotel Jamison.
The event in Sydney followed updates in Brisbane and Melbourne in recent weeks with the likes of TravelManagers and MTA – Mobile Travel Agents, supported by Hawaiian Airlines and key stakeholders, reaching an audience of around 240 collectively.
The Hawaiian Islands reopened to vaccinated Australian travellers in mid-December 2021, with visitors currently requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination and a negative PCR test on arrival. (Another test is also required before returning home). The current mask mandate at indoor and covered venues across the islands will be wound up in a week, on 26 March 2022.
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A sister-term to aloha, the Hawaiian word malama translates to “care for and protect” and is the new focus for Hawaii coming out of the pandemic. The Hawaiian Islands is encouraging travel partners and visitors to get onboard with the theme, by participating in regenerative and mindful travel.
Jennifer Gaskin, Account Director for Hawaii Tourism Oceania since last June, said 2022 represents a “new era” for travel in Hawaii, with malama centred around “taking a holiday that gives back”.
The malama program offers a range of activities that enable visitors to ‘pay it forward’ by being involved in projects such as beach clean-ups, native tree plantings and helping with the restoration of battleship – experiences that will provide a much deeper level of connection. Activities are available across all the Hawaiian Islands – learn more about the program here: gohawaii.com/malama.
Hawaii Tourism has also used the past two years to develop new experiences that connect visitors with the local people and culture.
Key initiatives for 2022 will be to encourage Australian travellers to disperse to the outer islands, beyond the island of Oahu and Waikiki. Niche audience segments related to nature and the outdoors, honeymooners as well as luxury couples will also be targeted.
Gaskin also confirmed that the Aloha Down Under roadshow is back on the calendar for 2022, with around 15 Hawaiian partners planning to attend events in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Auckland between 22-26 August.
Kris Phadungkiatipong, Trade & Partnerships Manager at Hawaii Tourism Oceania provided attendees with a snapshot of the latest updates and hotel refurbishments that took place, or are underway, across the islands during the pandemic, which includes the near completion of enhancements at Turtle Bay Resort, the transformation of Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach, upgrades at The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali Beach Hotel and the revitalisaiton of Mauna Lani, under new owners Auberge Resorts Collection.
Phadungkiatipong also highlighted a number of new activities, adventures and experiences available in Hawaii, and encouraged travel partners to remind their clients to make advanced reservations for popular attractions such as Hanauma Bay State Park outside Honolulu, which now requires visitors to pre-book.
For travel advisors, there will be a number of famil opportunities to Hawaii throughout 2022, with Gaskin herself set to host two groups in the near future.
Pictured from left are: Melanie Lambert, Hawaii Tourism Oceania; Maria Alaveras, Outrigger Resorts; Kris Phadungkiatipong, Hawaii Tourism Oceania; Jennifer Gaskin, Hawaii Tourism Oceania and Andrew Stanbury, Hawaiian Airlines.