Hiking Hawaii Cafe’s decor appeals to the outdoorsy crowd. // © 2017 Hiking Hawaii Cafe
Feature image (above): Sheraton Maui guests can borrow ukuleles from the front desk for free, then learn a few chords with cultural advisor Jack Stone. // © 2017 Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa
Seemingly every day, Hawaii’s travel industry tweaks its offerings to remain vital to potential visitors.
“While Hawaii is one of the most aspirational destinations in the world, it is critical to stay fresh and relevant in a competitive market,” said Robyn Basso, senior director of travel industry partnerships for Hawaii Tourism United States (HTUSA).
That’s why travel agents need to put their finger on the pulse of paradise, making sure their clients have an unparalleled experience in the Aloha State. These recent Hawaii happenings can make their job that much easier.
Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach
Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach, the $115 million Pacific Beach Hotel redo, will debut in December. Highlights will include a sleek lobby with a 280,000-gallon aquarium, a destination pool deck and two restaurants by Masaharu Morimoto.
Aston at The Whaler on Kaanapali Beach
On Maui, the renovated lobby of Aston at The Whaler on Kaanapali Beach sports an open-air design with water features and ocean views. Guests receive welcome beverages and can check in with iPads.
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Alana - Waikiki Beach
The new Hiking Hawaii Cafe at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Alana - Waikiki Beach serves both healthful cuisine and outdoor adventures. It’s a one-stop source for organic dining and inspiring hiking excursions. www.hikinghawaii808.com
In partnership with Maui Ocean Center, Grand Wailea now touts a sea life exploration station, where guests can touch and learn about live tide pool animals each Wednesday.
Westin Hapuna Beach Resort
In early 2018, Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel will be rebranded as Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. To that end, the Hawaii Island property is going through a $46 million transformation inside and out.
Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa
Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa has unveiled its Hawaiian Music and Dance Hall of Fame exhibit honoring notable island composers and entertainers. Also new: a weekly historical and cultural walking tour. Both activities are free for guests and nonguests.
Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa
Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa has started a free ukulele lender program. Beginners can learn basic chords and songs with the hotel’s cultural advisor, while advanced players can pluck at their leisure.
The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas
With Glam-B-Q, The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas’ new private dining experience, clients savor grilled steak and lobster as they lounge in a large, teepee-style tent in northwest Maui.
The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, Kaanapali
Another Maui property, The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, Kaanapali, just launched “In the Spirit,” a monthly showcase of specialty food and cocktail pairings in a fun, social setting with live music.
ACTIVITY AND ATTRACTION NEWS
Coral Crater Adventure Park
Throughout October, Oahu’s Coral Crater Adventure Park will feature Zombie Apocalypse: Rescue Mission, a live-action romp akin to a video game, with replica laser guns, off-road driving and ziplining.
Hawaiian Ocean Adventures
Hawaiian Ocean Adventures, which specializes in authentic Hawaiian sailing canoe tours, is adding a windward Oahu location starting Oct. 1. It also operates daily from Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa.
Paying 25 percent commission, KapohoKine Adventures’ new Hilo Bay kayak tour leads visitors to hidden coves and beaches, with snacks, drinks and time to swim.
Pacific Whale Foundation
From December through May, Pacific Whale Foundation’s marine naturalists will be stationed along Maui’s coastlines to help visitors spot the whales that frequent Hawaii’s waters each winter.
Polynesian Adventure Tours
On Oahu, Polynesian Adventure Tours has paired with Blue Hawaiian Helicopters for an all-inclusive one-day tour of Kauai, hitting the highlights by land and air.
Four Seasons Resort Lanai
On Lanai, Four Seasons Resort Lanai’s Ranch at Koele now offers sunset horseback rides, providing panoramas of the neighbor islands. Tours are intimate, with a maximum of four guests.
Segway of Hawaii
Segway of Hawaii has kicked off the Sunset to Diamond Head tour, available each evening from 5 to 7 p.m. Departing from Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, guests glide through the area’s lesser-known locales as the sun goes down.
USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park
Looking for a novel way to see the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, based at Pearl Harbor? Consider a VIP tour of the historic World War II attack vessel, led by a former captain of the U.S. Navy sub.
TRAVEL AGENT SCOOPS
In late October, Classic Vacations will announce an agent incentive honoring its upcoming 40th anniversary. It’s also inviting 40 agents to Oahu from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3 for its inaugural Elite Education Experience program, with networking and destination training.
Blue Sky Tours
Blue Sky Tours has revised its island guide, a handy tool for selling Hawaii. With updates to the content and layout, the guide provides agents with more thorough details on each island.
Agents who have passed HTUSA’s six Hawaii certification exams can take advantage of a new self-guided fam organizer, allowing them to easily book individual components of their own trips at a discount. Look for it by the end of 2017.
Outrigger Expert Agents
Outrigger Expert Agents currently earn 100 reward points per night (versus the standard 30) on client stays at Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort and Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort. Bookings must be made by Oct. 18.
Pleasant Holidays is introducing a comprehensive, 24/7 Hawaii training webinar for agents, focusing on the six major islands. Additionally, 30 new sales agents are joining its reservations team to assist agents.