Aloha! Visit Kaua‘i lays out visitor marketing plan

WAIPOULI — Members of the Aloha! Visit Kaua‘i 2004 organization were on hand Tuesday to answer questions as well as announce the opening of their Web site designed to attract more visitors to Kaua‘i.

Billed as “Hawai‘i’s Island of Discovery,” the site invites visitors from a world marketplace to “a year-long jubilee celebrating Kaua‘i’s past, present, and future” by encouraging shared experiences between island residents and visitors.

This is done by creating monthly themes with existing and new events being used to reinforce the themes, the intent being to increase visitor arrivals, increase their stays, and encourage expenditures.

January is billed as the month of aloha, February is the month of romance, while March celebrates Ka Mele.

April celebrates healing and wellness with May centering on Nature’s treasures. June is the month of Family Exploration, July is the month of Heritage Past, and the waiwai theme in August celebrates Kaua‘i’s abundance of produce, flowers, and beauty of its land, sea, and air.

September is the month of Kauaian Arts, October celebrates festivals, with November being the month of Sharing, and the year ends with December highlighting the unique island’s Tropical Holidays.

Barbara Bennett of This Week magazine, who sits on the Board of the Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau, noted that Aloha! Visit Kaua‘i is the next step forward from this year’s Kauaian Days celebration which had an underlying theme of unifying the island in a common vision that was born from a model presented to the island by the Hindu monastery, and used by several countries including Australia as a marketing tool.

Bennett said the 2004 Aloha! Visit Kaua‘i program is designed to unify the community and the visitor industry while giving potential visitors a reason to select Kaua‘i as a destination while encouraging residents to explore their own “island of discovery.”

Kamika Smith of Smith’s Motorboats, in Wailua gave a presentation on the honu, or sea turtle, being selected as the unifying logo for the program. Smith said that he experienced the meaningful memories visitors took with them after being able to chat with him about his family, and employees of Smith’s Motorboats.

“Visitors give back, too,” Smith, another Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau Board member, said. “There is a mutual sharing when residents talk about their families, making the interaction between visitors and residents more heartfelt.”

“Kauaians can get more from visitors as well as make their stay here more meaningful,” Smith said.

Smith said that when something is done for the island, we need to do it for ourselves first.

Bennett agreed that in order for visitors to have a good Kaua‘i experience, attitude is important, and if we do things for ourselves, the visitors will feel good because we feel good.

As an example, Smith cited the recent example of derelict cars being waylaid along Kaua‘i’s roadways and how the media insinuated that we need to clean up the mess for the visitors’ sake – what about us?

Roger Jacobs encouraged everyone to visit the organization’s now-operational Web site at www.AlohaVisitKauai.com in order for them to provide feedback on any tweaking that might be needed to make the site more attractive and appealing.

Jacobs said that people planning events on the island could use the site to publicize their events, tying in with the themed year approach while noting that all organizers need to do is e-mail them the information.

Committee members of the Aloha! Visit Kaua‘i program include former mayor Maryanne Kusaka, Nalani Brun and Bernard Carvalho from the County of Kaua‘i, Smith, Edee Bandman of the Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau, West Side resident Joanne Watanabe, Bennett, Jacobs, Dandapaniswami of the Hindu monastery, Margy Parker of the Poipu Beach Resort Association and Marianne Martin.

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