2015 Halfway: Hawaii's 5 Most Buzzed-About Stories

The Hawaii Tourism Authority's recent launch of its mid-year Market Update Videos prompted Travel Agent to do something similar. As we hit the mid-year mark on the year, we chose to highlight the most buzzed-about Hawaii pieces of the year.

Westin Nanea Ocean Villas to Open on Maui in 2017

Maui, Hawaii

New builds in Hawaii are pretty rare, so when one is announced it naturally garners a lot of attention from the agent community. 


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And that's exactly what happened in February when Starwood Vacation Ownership, a division of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., announced the development of The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas in Hawaii, a 26-acre oceanfront resort. 

Scheduled to open in 2017, the new resort is located on Kaanapali Beach on Maui and will feature 390 luxurious villas and a variety of world-class resort amenities, including an expansive lagoon-style pool and a beach bar. The new resort will also pursue the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for high-performance buildings.

It’s Time to Join the All-Inclusive Party, Hawaii

In March, Travel Agent listed several reasons why we thought Hawaii tourism could benefit from having an all-inclusive product in the destination. We shot down several reasons why Hawaii shouldn't have an all-inclusive from labor costs to the fear that hotel guests won't dine around on the island.

We know where we stand on this topic, but agents should read this piece and decide for themselves whether the presence of an all-inclusive will diminish from Hawaii's already impressive hotel product. 

Agents: New Virgin America Flights Will Be Great for Hawaii Travel

In April, some of our most respected Hawaii specialists chimed in on Virgin America's decision to the fly to the Aloha State for the first time this fall. 

The carrier will fly to both Honolulu and Maui, serving both destinations with one daily round-trip flight from its main hub in San Francisco, according to a statement issued by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA).

Many agents praised the news, stating that the new routes will give Californians another options besides Cabo, while other agents predicted that the move could inspire JetBlue Airways and Southwest "to get in on this actions if all goes well."

Top Hawaii Family Travel Trends for 2015

Well, we knew a family-related story had to make the list, as the family market is arguably Hawaii's strongest. After all, one could argue that the worldwide multigenerational trend started in the Aloha State years ago. 

In January, we brought you the latest news from family-friendly hotels from Turtle Bay Resort's $45 million renovation to the expanded Waikolohe Valley water play area at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. Read the entire story for some more potential sales pitches for families heading to Hawaii

Why Hawaii Could See an Influx of Millennial Travelers

In April, Travel Agent broke down several reasons why we felt the Millennial market was ripe for Hawaii. 

Hawaii has a major problem. It cannot get enough people off of Oahu, which is where Hawaii's main hub is located, and into its neighboring islands that all offer so many possibilities for adventure and exploratory travel. The only way to solve this, as the Hawaii Tourism Authority and Hawaii’s airlines already know, is to encourage more visitors to island hop. 

And the simple fact is, whereas there are plenty of older clients who are in great physical shape, island hopping is a younger traveler’s game. 

Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for all the latest Hawaii news and be sure to follow Travel Agent's Joe Pike on Twitter @TravelPike.