KAPAA — When TripAdvisor recently named Kapaa as a top 10 pick for trending traveler destinations, it came as no surprise to the the Royal Coconut Coast Association.
“That comes from all the work that you are doing,” Margy Parker said to about 50 members of the association during its annual meeting Tuesday night.
In a 15-minute presentation, Parker, who handles the group’s media relations, outlined its marketing efforts through primarily online platforms that continue to show steady growth.
She said the focus is driving traffic to the website, and it’s working. Total visits last year were nearly 117,000, a nearly 500 percent increase since 2013. RCCA has 48,000 Facebook fans 567 Instagram followers, 555 Twitter follows and 21 Pinterest boards.
Dues from its 59 members pay for everything. The strategic board, she added, has chosen a great way to manage its resources by going with several part-time employees rather than one full-time employee.
“We’re all working hard,” she said. “Our main thrust is to promote this area as a traveling destination.”
Ultimately, she said, the end result is improving businesses in the association.
“I’ve been hearing great things,” she said. “How many of you are doing great business?”
Few, if any, hands went up, prompting some chuckles.
“Anybody?” Parker asked.
Visitor numbers to Kauai are up. The Hawaii Tourism Authority reported Kauai had 109,283 visitors in January, a 10 percent increase over January 2017. Those visitors spent $191 million, a 2.3 percent increase over the same month last year.
There is rising interest online about Kauai, too. RCCA’s website lists an array of things, including accommodations, restaurants, shopping, history, services and places to see. Page views to its activities climbed from fewer than 5,000 to more than 30,000.
Top website visitors come from California, Hawaii, Texas, New York and Florida.
Social media isn’t all free. RCCA dedicates funds each month for what is called a “post boost,” Parker said.
“You have to start paying,” she said.
The association is producing another video to feature the iconic sites of the Eastside, such as Ke Ala Hele Makalae, the shared-use path along the ocean.
“It’s all going to be about the scenery, the places that people can expect to see when they’re here,” she said.
RCCA does have a brochure that is distributed only on Kauai.
“We have a lot of repeat visitors here and we have a fair amount of new visitors,” she said. “We feel like the brochure being distributed here will not only encourage our visitors to come back and stay on the Coconut Coast, but also to frequent your business to use this brochure to find you.”
George Costa, county director of economic development, praised the group’s efforts.
“We congratulate all of you, job well done. Keep up the good work,” he said.