Polaroid Photo

Pictures from Hawaii Tourism Study

Hawaii Tourism Study

Hawaii Business, Vacation, and Tourism News and Information.

Choose a Topic:

Apr '09

Hawaii Destinations Makes a Good Start

I had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of Ted at Hawaii Destinations – a Hawaii travel and tourism site which is a guide for independent travelers visiting the islands. The goal of this website, as stated on their about page, is, “to become a respected destination and vacation guide, providing a quality and quantity of information without peer amongst independent websites”. Hawaii Destinations has made a good start with a respectable amount of information on Hawaii travel insurance as well as a nice selection of Hawaii accommodations. The site uses 2 monetization models:

  1. Cost Per Click (CPC) – They use Google Adsense for their contextual advertising.
  2. Affiliate Model – They use multiple affiliate programs to provide accommodations, car rentals, travel insurance, vacation packages, cruises and activities.

Overall, the site has a nice theme and is easy to navigate. I appreciate the simple straight forward navigation and everything is just one click away. The buttons to “book” and “learn more” are also easy to see which leads to high conversion ratios. Continue reading "Hawaii Destinations Makes a Good Start" »

Apr '09

Summit Pacific Inc.’s On the Right Track

Summit Pacific Inc. appears to have its roots in the Kauai vacation rentals market. They seem to be expanding into other islands, but their main play in on Kauai with such resorts as Puu Poa, Hanalei Bay Resort and Waipouli Beach Resort. This is an interesting Hawaii travel site to study because the company employs all 4 of our monetization models:

  1. Cost Per Click (CPC) – They use Google Adsense for their contextual advertising.
  2. Affiliate Advertising – They have affiliate agreements with several rental car agencies.
  3. Selling Services – The owner actually books his own rentals on this site, so they offer a vacation rental agency service.
  4. Direct Ad Sales – They also post advertisement to owner direct vacation properties.

Summit Pacific has done a great job developing useful content around a Kauai vacation theme. They have info for their guest including activities, golf and even real estate for visitors interested in buying a vacation home of their own. At this point, much of this content is monetized using CPC. What really impresses me, though, is how they’ve been able to take their Hawaii car rentals section beyond CPC into an affiliate program. Continue reading "Summit Pacific Inc.’s On the Right Track" »

Apr '09

Hawaiian Beach Rentals Has It Going On

Hawaiian Beach Rentals is the largest Hawaii vacation rental company in the state with more than 4,000 accommodations for you to choose from. They use the following business model:

  • Sells Services – The company is paid a commission by property owners for providing a booking service for their rentals.

There are two things that really set Hawaiian Beach Rentals apart from other vacation rental booking companies:

  1. Their commitment to Internet marketing gives them a huge advantage in traffic and allows them to fill rentals where other businesses struggle.
  2. They aggregate vacation properties from multiple agencies which allows them to offer a larger selection of accommodations to their site visitors. The company manages about 400 Oahu vacation rentals of their own, but by working with other property management companies, they are able to offer 10 times the vacation homes and condos then they would normally.

Continue reading "Hawaiian Beach Rentals Has It Going On" »

Mar '09

Hawaii.com Overcharging Clients for Clicks

Hawaii.com is an advertising based Hawaii travel site owned by the Gannett Company whose flagship publication is USA Today. They use 2 Internet business models:

  1. Affiliate program – Hawaii.com receives a percentage of the sale whenever they send a user to another website and that user buys something.
  2. Cost Per Click (CPC) – advertising where vendors pay every time a user clicks on their ad (a.k.a. pay-per-click).

For their affiliate program, Hawaii.com co-brands with Expedia.com and also uses Pleasant Holidays. This is pretty straight forward on the website. You can search for vacation packages, airfare, hotels and rentals right from the home page or choose package deals from internal island pages.

The CPC’s are setup as ads around content and whenever a client clicks on one of these ads, Hawaii.com receives a agreed upon payment. Continue reading "Hawaii.com Overcharging Clients for Clicks" »

Mar '09

Socio-Cultural & Public Input Component

General Description of Work:

The overall purpose of this component is to assure public awareness of, and input to, the overall project … to consider the social and cultural effects of Hawai`i tourism (past, present, and especially future) … and to see if the ideas generated during the project are supported by the overall public in meetings and a survey of residents on all islands. The consultant for this component is also responsible for “overall project coordination,” but just in the sense of preparing a final report summarizing all three components, in a consistent format.

The Infrastructure and Economic/Environmental components are intended to produce some hard facts and figures. They are the “bones” of the Sustainable Tourism project. The Socio-Cultural and Public Input component puts some “flesh” on those bones by analyzing some of the human issues and by gathering resident input. Some parts of this study include facts and figures, but other parts have to do with beliefs and values.

Critical activities include:

1. Developing a public information and input effort, including this website, to deal with all three components of the Sustainable Tourism project.

2. Holding public meetings on all islands.

3. Assembling a Study Group of “stakeholders” from different interest groups – various parts of the tourism industry, environmentalists, Native Hawaiians, etc. – who are meeting throughout the life of the project. They are working on a statement of “Sustainable Tourism Goals and Indicators” which can represent agreement among many groups about how to maintain a good balance of economic, environmental, and social outcomes as tourism changes.

4. Preparing a two-part Socio-Cultural Report investigating evidence about the likely effects of tourism growth and/or change on social factors known to be of particular concern to residents – e.g., crime, housing cost, Native Hawaiian issues, etc.

The first part deals with impacts on Native Hawaiians and was written by a Native Hawaiian advisory group. The second part deals with tourism’s socio-cultural impacts on Hawai`i’s general population.

5. Compiling ideas and recommendations from all the above activities, and then conducting a survey of residents of all counties.

6. Preparing a final report, covering all three components, including recommendations for action by public and private organizations, along with ideas for future studies or public activities that could not be done during this initial Sustainable Tourism effort.

Get the latest details.

Mar '09

Infrastructure & Environmental Overview

General Description of Work:

The purpose of the Overview study was to compile an inventory of selected public and private infrastructure, as well as environmental features, in order to establish baseline data for 2000. This component was intended to identify infrastructure/environmental capacity, usage, problems and future plans, compare visitor and resident impacts and define major assumptions throughout the State. This study provides a basic understanding of the conditions and issues related to the infrastructure and environment around the state.  The study addresses the following areas:

  • The study includes a review and summary of the most current public and private documents available. Particular attention was placed on individual county documents. The study identifies what information is unavailable that may require further study on the counties of  Hawai`i Island (Hilo and Kona), Kaua`i, Lana`i, Maui, Moloka`i, and O`ahu.
  • The background assessment provides the status of public and private infrastructure as well as environmental features that are impacted by visitors for the major inhabited Hawaiian Islands (Hawai`i, Kaua`i, Lana`i, Maui, Moloka`i and O`ahu) to the degree possible. The analysis for each issue goes down to the county regional level, with particular emphasis on visitor-related areas.
  • The analysis of public infrastructure includes the current condition of infrastructure as it pertains to terrestrial water supply quality and quantity, sewage, storm water, solid waste disposal, road, airports, harbors, parks facilities, and police, fire, and emergency services.
  • The analysis of private infrastructure includes the present capacity, present usage;, the existing problems, issues, and opportunities; future and planned usage; future and planned requirements or changes; and anticipated costs for the future, private transportation, sewer systems, and energy systems.
  • The analysis of environmental features includes the present capacity, present usage;, existing problems, limitations, and opportunities, future and planned usage, future and planned changes and anticipated costs for coastal water quality, marine ecosystems health, air quality, forests and green space, invasive species, beach erosion, and other natural and scenic resources.
  • Check here for the latest details.

    Mar '09

    Project Objectives and Geographical Coverage


    The project has seven main objectives:

    1. Examine sustainable tourism development in Hawai`i based on various scenarios that consider the quality of life of residents and the quality of the visitor experience.

    2. Effectively include input from residents through a public involvement and peer-review study component.

    3. Define requirements, responses, and limiting factors for key natural resources and physical infrastructure.

    4. Identify mitigating measures or technological changes that can be taken to avoid or negate the limiting factors.

    5. Identify relationships that link the impact of visitors and residents on infrastructure, the environment and the economy, as well as inter-linkages between the infrastructure, the environment and the economy.

    6. Develop an analytical tool (a computer model) for objective assessment and projection of the outcomes of different scenarios, including different levels of visitor growth and uses of alternative mitigating measures.

    7. Develop a tool to conduct policy analysis and planning for sustainable tourism with particular emphasis on the role of economic planning.

    Project Area

    The study will look at statewide issues and also focus on the four most populated Hawaiian Islands, where the bulk of visitor activity occurs: O`ahu, Hawai`i, Maui, and Kaua`i. The two other populated islands – Lana`i and Moloka`i – will be included to the degree that data permit.

    Check out the latest updates.

    Mar '09

    The Sustainable Tourism Concept

    The Sustainable Tourism Project is representative of an emerging approach in economic development to reconcile the need for economic growth with the quality of life and the protection of natural resources. The World Tourism Organization (WTO) identifies “sustainable tourism” as visitor industry development that has:

  • Ecological sustainability; ensuring that development is compatible with the maintenance of essential ecological processes, biological diversity and biological resources.
  • Social and cultural sustainability; ensuring that development increases people’s control over their lives, is compatible with the culture and values of people affected by it, and maintains and strengthens community identity.
  • Economic sustainability; ensuring that development is economically efficient and that resources are managed so that they can support future generations.
  • According to the WTO, sustainable tourism development meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing the opportunity for the future. It is seen as leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled, while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems. Sustainable tourism development connects tourists and providers of tourist facilities and services with advocates of environmental protection and community residents and their leaders who desire a better quality of life.

    The major product of the Sustainable Tourism Project will be planning and analysis tools, in the form of an information database, a computer model, scenarios and recommendations, that will help policy makers reconcile tourism’s continued contribution to the economy with the need to protect environmental quality, provide infrastructure support, and enhance residents’ quality of life.
    Check out the latest updates.

    Mar '09

    Project Reports

    To find out all the latest information on current project you can visit the Hawaii Tourism site.  They have many down-loadable reports that provide detailed studies and statistics.

    Mar '09

    Project Overview

    Tourism is currently the industry most responsible for Hawai`i’s economic growth and standard of living. Although many emerging industries – such as technology, film, health & wellness, professional services, specialty products and others – show great promise for the future, our economic growth will probably still depend largely on tourism for many years to come. At the same time, the visitor industry has major impacts (both positive and negative) on almost every aspect of our economy, our physical infrastructure, our natural resources, and even our social and cultural lives.

    This project will look at tourism’s “sustainability” – that is, the extent to which we can “sustain” (continue or preserve) both the benefits we receive from the industry and also our social and environmental assets. After all, it is our natural beauty and our Aloha Spirit which nurture tourism and which make Hawai`i such a special place for those of us who live here or come to visit.

    Overall Goals of the Sustainable Tourism Project

    Because of a history of public concerns over the impacts of tourism (see below), the Hawai`i State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) is conducting a study to assist in Planning for Sustainable Tourism. The goals of the Sustainable Tourism Study, as it is called, are to:

  • Examine the impact of visitors on the economy, on the natural environment, on the cultural fabric of the community, and on the State’s physical infrastructure.
  • Provide an information base, an analysis of potential consequences, and an analytical tool (more specifically, a computer model) for proactive policy responses to various tourism-growth scenarios.
  • The Study will analyze possible future trends that can affect the capacity of the State to handle more visitors. These would include things like infrastructure investment, changes in technology, changes in consumer preferences, and the resilience of the natural environment. The Study will indicate when and where bottlenecks or pressure points are likely to be reached, and then suggest – to the degree possible – management strategies.

    This approach recognizes that there is no single measure for the maximum number of visitors that Hawai`i can or should accommodate. Such a number would be different for every specific resource and infrastructure element on every island and for every community. Such numbers would also change over time and as the nature of the visitor markets change. Thus, the Study is intended to identify when, where and how much specific elements will be impacted by tourism growth well before any so-called maximum is reached. Then, the Study will develop some general strategies and planning tools for policymakers to manage the industry’s growth in a way that maintains Hawai`i’s quality of life, the quality of the environment, and the quality of the visitor experience.

    History of the Project

    The State decided to conduct this Study in large part because of the strength of Hawai`i’s visitor industry in the year 2000. A record 6.95 million visitors came to Hawai`i that year, and the average number of visitors in the state on any given day was nearly 169,000. After a decade of very little growth, this 2000 rebound in tourism reminded many people of past concerns about the impact of visitors on our environment, infrastructure, and standard of living.

    Worries about the effects of tourism growth have been persistent since the industry started booming in the 1960s Hawai`i’s economic problems in the 1990s put such concerns on the back burner for a while.

    However, given the strong growth in 2000, DBEDT and the Hawai`i Tourism Authority (HTA) began to discuss how increasing numbers of visitors would affect our tourism product and resident quality of life. While HTA’s strategy is to promote growth in visitor expenditures rather than visitor arrivals, its Strategic Planning and Accountability Committee recognized it cannot market Hawai`i vacations without maintaining the quality of the environment and of the visitor experience. These agencies also recognized there was no effective tool to measure and forecast the impact of tourism growth on expensive infrastructure systems such as water & sewage systems, transportation, parks, etc. Moreover, environmental groups and agencies have become increasingly concerned about how tourism growth may be affecting the natural environment and the lack of tools to measure that impact.

    As a result of these and other concerns, the 2001 Legislature requested DBEDT to conduct a study on Hawai`i’s capacity to sustain future growth in tourism. Planning for the study and selection of contractors began in early September 2001. The project was subdivided into three interrelated studies (below). The baseline infrastructure and environmental study began in March 2002, and the modeling and public input studies followed beginning in June 2002.

    Three Parts of the Project

    The project will be conducted as a series of three separate studies corresponding to (1) the need for a baseline overview and assessment of the infrastructure and environment, (2) a study to understand and measure tourism’s economic and environmental impacts, and (3) a means to encourage and obtain public input and examine evidence about tourism’s socio-cultural impacts.

  • Infrastructure & Environmental Overview Study (Completed): The purpose of the Overview study is to compile an inventory of selected public and private infrastructure, as well as environmental features, in order to establish baseline data for 2000. This component also identifies infrastructure/environmental capacity, usage, problems and future plans and needs throughout the State. This study is intended to provide a basic understanding of the conditions and issues related to the infrastructure and environment around the state, as well as generate information for the modeling phase below.
  • Economic Modeling Study: This study entails computerized modeling of the impact of changes in the level and composition of tourism on the environment, economy, and infrastructure statewide and in various regions. This will permit exploration of impacts of various tourism growth scenarios over the next 20 to 30 years. The modeling study will integrate the economic, environmental, and infrastructure systems into a consistent framework for State and county policy and planning. Recommendations will be developed for specific policy measures based on different assumptions about growth in both the visitor and resident populations.
  • Public Input and Socio-Cultural Study: The Public Input and Socio-Cultural Impact Study will gather information from the public, government agencies, interest groups and the business community regarding actual and perceived impacts of tourism on the State’s public and private infrastructure systems, environmental resources, and cultures. It will also provide some objective data, to the extent possible, about historical relationships between Hawai`i tourism and social indicators such as crime rates.
  • Check out the most current details.