Waikiki's ala Moana Center Expands Shopping Options

Although Waikiki may have made its reputation as a sun-and-sand destination, visitors will quickly notice how important shopping is as a component of the destination's tourism appeal.  Ala Moana Center in Waikiki

Kalakaua Avenue
is lined with high-end shops and many Japanese tourists come to Waikiki with shopping as their preferred activity. Another major magnet for shoppers is the AlaMoana Center, which bills itself as the world's largest open-air mall, with 260 stores, including 70 dining venues and such high-profile stores as Gucci, Bulgari and Tiffany & Co.

The center is in the midst of a two-year retail expansion project that will add 35 new merchants, including Hawaii's first full-line Nordstrom. The center recently saw the opening of Tsukiji Fish Market and Restaurant, inspired by Tokyo's famous eponymous fish market.

A spokesperson for AlaMoanaCenter had an interesting observation, mentioning that while visitors from major U.S. cities will find these high-end shops familiar, those from many other parts of the country will be impressed by the plethora of shopping options.

The center has several commissionable shopping packages, ranging from $25 to $120, and including things like free transportation, discount coupon books, gift cards and a complimentary shopping bag. Visit www.shopamericatours.com.

Waikiki Hotel Offers 15 Percent Commission

The Ilima, a condo-style hotel in Waikiki, is offering agents 15 percent commission applicable to all new direct bookings as of June 1, including bookings of discounted rates and packages. The 2007 rack rates range from $167 per night for a standard studio to $507 for the three-bedroom penthouse suite. The agent liaison is Karen Behnke, reservations supervisor. She can be reached at 800-801-9366 or karenb@hawaii.com. Agents must book directly with the hotel by calling 800-801-9366. Visit www.ilima.com.