Hundreds of travel advisors in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne are reveling in the ‘Aloha Spirit’ this week as Hawai’i Tourism Oceania’s (HTO) annual roadshow – Aloha Down Under – made its return to Australian shores for the first time in two years.
Hawai’ian tourism partners have been bursting at the seams to return to Australia and New Zealand for the showcase, which is this year celebrating a milestone 10th anniversary. Around 150 travel advisors are expected to attend each event on the east coast, and near the same attendance in Auckland next Monday.
Sixteen travel and tourism operators (or ‘ohana’, as HTO prefers to say) are represented at the roadshow, with 13 of those flying in from the US island state. For many of whom it was their first trip back to Australia since the pandemic.
Participating partners included: Castle Resorts and Hotels; Norwegian Cruise Line; Marriott International; Aulani – a Disney Resort and Spa; Prince Resorts Hawaii; Courtyard Marriott Oahu Northshore; Aqua-Aston Hospitality; Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa; Highgate Hawaii; Kaanapali Beach Hotel; Outrigger Hotels & Resort; Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club; Kailani Tours; Hawaiian Airlines; The Kahala Hotel & Resort and Go City.
Jennifer Gaskin, Account Director for Hawai’i Tourism Oceania told LATTE the feedback from both travel advisors and visiting partners has been “awesome”.
“Agents have been thirsty for information. They’ve engaged with partners, are taking notes, asking lots of questions and eager to find out more about what’s been happened in Hawai’i over the past couple of years,” Gaskin said.
Similarly, HTO’s partners have been “itching to get back Down Under,” Gaskin said, anxious to discuss and educate advisors on the latest developments, upgrades, enhancements and changes.
Gaskin reiterated the Hawaiian Islands remain focused on the ‘Malama’ message, which encourages travel partners and visitors to participate in regenerative and mindful travel when that visit the Pacific destination.
“Pre-COVID, tourism in a lot of destinations was really focused on the experience of the visitor, and the Hawaiian Islands. Like many over-touristed places around the world, [Hawai’i] used the two years of the pandemic to reset, rethink and refocus tourism.”
“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.
Pictured below are photos from the Aloha Down Under event held in Sydney on Monday 22 August 2022 at the Ivy Ballroom. Image credit: David Li.