HVCB Unveils Upgraded Destination-Specialist Program

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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