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Hawaii Tourism Study

Hawaii Business, Vacation, and Tourism News and Information.

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Jul '11

Lingering Effects of Japan Tsunami

Which Hawaii Businesses Are Hardest Hit By Japan Tsunami Tourism Fallout?

Growth in Hawaii Tourism Expected Despite Japan Catastrophe

During the first months of 2011, Hawaii tourism was on pace to surpass the peak year of 2007 when 7.63 million Hawaii visitors spent $12.8 billion in the state. Then the earthquake and tsunami disasters struck Japan in March of 2011 delivering another setback to Hawaii tourism.

A recent First Hawaiian Bank Business Activity Report stated that spending in Hawaii was up in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same time in 2010 and noted improvements in fourteen of the sixteen sectors that are measured. This included an 18% increase in spending on travel activities and 15% more revenue in hotels. Continue reading "Lingering Effects of Japan Tsunami" »

Jan '11

Renting A Car In Hawaii

The best way to find great deals on Hawaii car rentals, if you book beforehand, is to do your research for local companies. The island businesses have guaranteed discounts that are pre-negotiated and a bit similar to Priceline, if you are willing to be flexible about the exact details of the make and model, you’ll find the best rates searching among these businesses. Many people say that renting a car in Hawaii is crucial.

The public transportation on the outer islands definitely leaves something to be desired. It is not so bad if you are staying in a resort or larger hotel, they will usually have shuttle and tours buses to help you get around. But if you are staying, for example, in one of many Kauai condo rentals, you  can be pretty isolated and have a hard time getting to public transportation. Continue reading "Renting A Car In Hawaii" »

Oct '10

Hawaii Places To Stay For Families

Hawaii Family Resorts

Hawaii offers many activities for families, including beach fun, nifty swimming pools, natural beauty, gardens, the Waikiki Aquarium, Dole Plantation, Honolulu Zoo, and helicopter tours to name a few (check out Safari Helicopters on Kauai and the Big Island). Hawaii has long been considered a romantic destination, but it has long been that and more. Any type of traveler, whether solo, group, senior, couple, or family, will find excellent itinerary options, including places to stay.

In Hawaiian, the word for child or children is keiki (kay-key). Look for keiki programs and Hawaii family discounts when planning your itinerary.

Maui Resorts

The Grand Wailea Resort Hotel and Spa

Popular with families, this resort offers its own mini day camp for kids. Movies, games, activities, night swims and much more create a specialized island vacation for the kids, plus a safe and luxurious place for the entire family to stay. Continue reading "Hawaii Places To Stay For Families" »

Aug '10

Best Places To Get Married On Maui

A big draw to the islands are weddings. Many engaged couples want to get married in paradise and often choose Hawaii as a place to announce their vows. As a tourist trade, the marriage marketplace has blown up in the past decade. Of course there are many options when it comes to getting married in Hawaii, but the biggest concern to most is location. So here we have outlined a few of the top spots that visitors and locals alike choose to get married.

Makena Cove
Remote and rich with scenery, Makena Cove tops the list for sunset weddings. A sheltered area with craggy rocks and tall palms with swaying leaves, the backdrop for photos is a bride’s wish and dream. The foamy water laps upon the shore with a myriad of blues to drink in while watching the ceremony. Kaholoowe and Molokini dot the horizon and the sunset provides the dramatic landscape to match the romantic occasion. It’s a joy for all visiting, with a few caveats. The site has limited parking and no restroom facilities. Also, multiple weddings are usually taking place, but most of the time, all are intimate groups each focused on their own wedding.

If you are looking for accommodations for your wedding party, or a place to stay on your scouting mission, check out Luana Kai – Kihei Maui Condos. Make your reservation now to enjoy the private and peaceful luxury of your own 1, 2 or 3 bedroom condo at Luana Kai Resort. Warm, inviting and friendly… It’s Always a Great Day at Luana Kai. Continue reading "Best Places To Get Married On Maui" »

Aug '10

Maui Nightlife and Music

The best Maui music venues have excellent atmosphere, food and drinks and of course, great live music. Most of the chain restaurants offer live music and location is certainly a plus, as many are on the beach; however, visiting a local spot will heighten the experience. If you are interested in more than just the nightlife in Maui check out Maui Vacations Hawaii for more island info, otherwise, read on.


Mulligan’s on the Blue in Wailea is an Irish pub serving an eclectic mix of pupu and dinner items and Hawaiian live music. This spot is fascinating, as it manages to meld Irish, Hawaiian and comfort food favorites into the menu. The music is Hawaiian, Irish, Jazz and more so check their website for music and dinner specials. Both indoors and outside overlooking the beach, Mulligan’s is a lovely spot for couples.

Stella Blues in Kihei is family-owned and somewhat of an institution among the locals. Home style cooking, an abundance of vegetarian options and a good variety of mixed drinks are part of this community’s beloved place. The family members are big fans of the Grateful Dead and this translates into the casual, inviting atmosphere making this a laid-back spot to enjoy live music. A happy hour, food and drink specials and lots of live music (no cover on occasional evenings) that is varied will keep you coming back during your stay. Families, solo travelers and groups will feel comfortable here.

Maui Brewing Co. offers handcrafted ales and lagers, live music (often with no cover charge) and drink specials. This place offers a neat atmosphere—clean and sort of an industrial look, with the brewery on-site, yet still evoking a welcome feel. Some neat stuff on tap, including a coconut porter and a lot of brews with an island take at this restaurant in Lahaina. A plus is their commitment to sustainability and community.


South Shore Tiki Lounge is a cliché done right. Looks like a typical island spot but has the goods to make you want to stick around and enjoy the mix of DJs, live music and variety of calendar events, plus happy hour. Add to that dancing, occasional fashion shows and ladies’ nights, with a very good range of musical genres played here, you’ll be feeling like a local in no time. The local island plates, with tons of good eats, including plenty of vegetarian items, make this another Kihei local favorite.

Jul '10

From Cane to Coffee: Hawaiian cash crops


Everybody associates sugarcane with Hawaiian agriculture, but there has been a huge shift in recent decades. Kona coffee and other coffee crops are surging in Hawaii while sugarcane has all but died out. Sugarcane was part of the Hawaiian landscape early (approximately 600 A.D.) and it became a cash crop gradually. Sugar plantations played a key role in all the islands’ economy and much Continue reading "From Cane to Coffee: Hawaiian cash crops" »

Aug '09

Top Hawaii Beach Homes

I know I generally write about Internet business with a Hawaii theme, but I’ve been wanting to move to Diamond Head, and I came across this fabulous beach home that I wish I could afford!

America’s Coolest Beach Homes

Of course I thought this one was the best because it’s in a place I actually want to live.

Jul '09

Poipu Resorts

I’ve been to Poipu, Kauai and it’s an amazing Hawaii vacation destination. So I can see why The Parrish Collection (TPC)  is banking on the several Poipu resorts in the area. TPC manages vacation homes and condos in popular locations like Poipu Kai and Nihi Kai Villas. From what I know about the business, property managers are paid roughly 20% (only) when an accommodation is booked. The property manager is then responsible for marketing, providing customer service and cleaning the vacation rentals.

  • Selling Services – Property management marketed through their Kauai vacation rental website.

The site itself is easy to navigate and there is great information about the properties including detailed descriptions and very nice photos. The problem with the site is its booking system which was not only slow and clunky, but a bit confusing to use. It was manageable, however, by improving this system they could up their conversion rate and therefore bookings. I’m guessing their current booking engine creates a lot of phone orders as well. So an improvement with this part of the site would reduce staff costs also.

The one thing that makes this site successful are the photos, floor plans and virtual tours. The photos are amazing and make me want to stay in their properties. If you don’t believe me, check out these pictures of their Donohugh home! The floor plans are a nice touch and something that most other vacation rentals sites don’t offer. Continue reading "Poipu Resorts" »

Jul '09

Safari Helicopters Takes Hawaii Helicopter Tours to New Heights

I’ve been wanting to do an evaluation of a Hawaii activity company for a while now, and I’ve finally got my chance. Safari Helicopters has been taking people on Hawaii helicopter tours to “inaccessible wonders” in the islands for 22 years. Reading through the elaborate company section, you learn that this is a family run operation that takes pride in their service and safety. The business itself works by selling their service directly to clients through their website. I’m guessing this direct sale is more valuable then selling through an activity desk or website which I’m assuming would charge a booking rate of about 25%.

  • Selling Services – Direct sales bypass booking agencies.

The site is done very nicely and there’s a lot of information to help make a buying decision including video, photos, description and customer reviews and rating from TripAdvisor displayed directly on the site. I really like this last feature because it gives you the opportunity to see unbiased remarks about what others have experienced. From the reviews you can tell Safari Helicopters is a reputable company selling good Kauai helicopter and Big Island helicopter tours.

The one place the site fell short was in the booking system. Not that it was bad, but it could definitely be improved which would lead to higher conversion and more sales. Continue reading "Safari Helicopters Takes Hawaii Helicopter Tours to New Heights" »

Apr '09

Uptake Tackles The Hawaii Vacation Market

Uptake is one of my favorite types of websites, a data aggregator (a site that compiles information from multiple sources into one place). If you take a look at their Hawaii activities section, for instance, you’ll see data pulled from Travelocity, Yahoo!, Trip Advisor, Yelp, Epinions and CitySearch as well as other information directly from Hawaii based websites such as HonoluluZoo.org. It’s pretty easy to see how a website like this can be useful, but how do they make money? A representative from Uptake told me that they worked on a CPC model. But if you look closely at their Hawaii romantic hotels or Hawaii family hotels sections, you’ll see a yellow button that says “Check Rates”. Clicking this button allows you search for hotel prices on TripAdvisor, Priceline and Expedia. So it appears that they are also working an affiliate angle.

  1. Cost Per Click (CPC) – They use Google Adsense for their contextual advertising. It also looks like they have some internal CPC going when they link out to other websites.
  2. Affiliate Model – They use multiple affiliate programs for at least hotels.

Uptakes use of information from multiple sources makes it a winner in my book. You can also see that with a lot of traffic, their CPC and Affiliate models could be very lucrative. After surpassing 1 million monthly visitors in less then a year after their launch in May 2008, they’re well on their way to becoming a profitable company. Continue reading "Uptake Tackles The Hawaii Vacation Market" »