Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau Launches Hot Rates, Hot Dates! Program


Responding to business customer concerns over Hawaii’s affordability in the current economic environment, the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) today launched a program to help generate new business bookings through 2010.

Called Hot Rates, Hot Dates! the HVCB initiative is being done in partnership with its member hotels and resorts statewide to provide money saving deals on accommodations, meeting facilities, and other specials. At BusinessAloha.com, HVCB’s business meetings website, an online clearinghouse has been created for groups to see and take advantage of the special offers. The new program takes Hawaii’s return on investment value a step further by offering inside information to groups and their constituents on the special saving opportunities now available at resorts throughout the state. The special offers are listed by island for each of the hotels and resorts taking part. Meeting professionals can shop online then contact hotels and resorts directly for the deal that best fits the size, composition, and special preferences of a group’s attendees. HVCB’s Hot Rates, Hot Dates! program is for new business bookings only and does not apply to accommodations that have already been reserved.

This is the third value-added program HVCB has introduced recently specifically to enhance Hawaii’s appeal as a meetings destination for the benefit of corporate groups, associations and incentives.

In December, HVCB launched a program offering special discounts for meeting attendees that can potentially produce hundreds of dollars in savings on retail products and activities in partnership with Retail Merchants of Hawaii and Activities and Attractions Association of Hawaii.

Earlier last year HVCB initiated the Hawaii Speakers Bureau program by creating a database of elite Hawaii-based leaders in various fields of expertise, including high technology, Asian affairs, medicine, and scientific research.

In addition, the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau has unveiled an upgraded version of its destination-specialist program, Ke Kula O Hawaii (The School of Hawaii). The revamped program is among the bureau's continuing efforts to be responsive to agents' needs, as Travel Agent reported last month. Enrollment in the program is free and the bureau estimates that the course will take agents about four hours to complete. "We've made big improvements to Ke Kula O Hawaii and it's so much more efficient and responsive to the travel agent of today," says Elizabeth Johnsen, managing director of travel industry partnerships. She adds that agents have access to value-added sales tools to help them grow their business. Graduates earn seven continuing-education credits and receive consumer referrals from HVCB's various information channels. They also can request personalized pre-arrival welcome guidebooks for their clients at no charge. More than 7,000 agents nationwide have earned certification in the program since its debut in 1999. Graduates who earned certification more than a year ago can retake the course online and earn the seven credits; even if they don't, they continue to receive program benefits. Visit [www.agents.gohawaii.com].

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