Words by Barry Matheson LATTE Correspondent
Hawaii is fighting back to lure more Australian visitors whose number dropped due to COVID and the fall in the Aussie dollar.
To arrest the decline, four leading Hawaii hoteliers are here on a 10-day Australian/New Zealand roadshow to connect with travel partners and see what they can do to help bring back travellers to the six unique Hawaiian islands. They included officials from the Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach, the Kahala Hotel and Resort, Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, and Prince Resorts Hawaii.
In Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland they held informative presentations reaching out to top industry partners to outline the many benefits of what Hawaii has to offer going forward.
Shannon McAneeley, Area Account Director-Group Sales for Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach told LATTE that Aussie travellers have been staying away a fraction and they are dearly missed.
“Aussies are quite unique and special to us, they make up a big component of our tourism industry and when they’re ready to return we will be there with welcome leis and open arms.”
She said Hawaii is a little different to the rest of the United States, and after COVID we are moving on to the next phase of travel and we want to reassure guests that we are a safe place with sanitation precautions in place so that customers feel confident to return.
“Yes, it is a little pricier but I challenge you to dig deeper and find those little hidden gems that can really stretch your dollar and take it a long way, but not to compromise on the experience of the destination,” said McAneeley.
Those gems include these four properties:
Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa has been completely transformed after a US$100 million refurbishment. Located in the heart of Waikiki next to Diamond Head, the resort is highlighted by the all-new Queensbank amenity deck featuring two pools, restaurant and bar floating among the palms, overlooking Queens – the most famous surf break on Waikiki.
Kahala Resort, a luxury hotel that offers lavish comfort, fine finishes, luxurious bathrooms and a choice of scenic, dolphin and full ocean views, along with award-winning dining.
Prince Resort is an upmarket oceanfront hotel, a private oasis with mesmerising views, sleek interiors, floor-to-ceiling windows, poolside cabanas and a club lounge.
The newly renovated Alohilani Resort is seconds away from the white sandy beaches of Waikiki Beach and boasts a rooftop infinity pool with ocean views and a two-storey high saltwater Oceanarium that houses a huge variety of local Hawaiian reef fish. It’s Longboard Club Lounge, which costs US$155 retail per room includes breakfast and complimentary drinks from 4pm-10pm nightly.
McAneeley said hotels have some incredible specials in market at the moment, especially for Australians, and she urged them to use travel specialists to guide their choices so the traveller can really stretch their AU$ much further than by just booking on their own.
“Hawaii is not a bad place to be. We have sunshine all the time, great weather, surf, sand in your toes. It’s just a really nice place to unwind,” added McAneeley.
Lead image: Kris Phadungkiatipong, Trade Manager, Hawaii Tourism Oceania; Shannon McAneeley, Account Director, Alohilani Resort; Kelly Strickland, Kahala Hotel & Resort; Mia Makino, Senior Sales Executive Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa and Rob Riter, Director Group Sales, Prince Resorts Hawaii.