Hawaii has been undergoing some impressive changes in the last few years, and seems poised to change even more. We chatted with David Uchiyama, vice president of tourism marketing at the Hawaii Tourism Authority, who pointed out that several airlines are offering more service to the Islands. For example, Alaska Airlines will soon have 16 flights per day throughout the state, and several other airlines (which he couldn’t officially name yet) that don’t currently fly to Hawaii are now considering launching service.
One of the biggest developments, he said, is the upcoming Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa. Uchiyama said that he had done a “hardhat” inspection of the site and talked with the development team. “That will be big news as they start to get closer to opening,” he predicted.
Uchiyama is also excited about Hawaii’s hosting of next year’s annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting. Specifically, he explained, the U.S. will be the host country, but Honolulu will be the main city for meetings. “A host committee has been formed and they are currently working with the state department to form plans,” Uchiyama said. “This event, for Hawaii, is really going to validate the state as a global meeting place. East and west can come together throughout the Islands.” The exact locations for the meetings, he noted, have not been determined yet—but will be decided at this year’s meeting in Yokohama, Japan.