Think About It: The Business of Travel - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

April 29, 2013

Think About It: The Business of Travel

One of the areas that is feeding the growth in our local tourism industry is business travel. More meeting and convention planners are deciding that Hawaii really is a fine place to hold a gathering, either for rewards or as incentives, or even as a site to hold an annual meeting or convention for a large group. It wasn't that long ago that we all heard the age-old story about how businesses simply couldn't justify excursions to Hawaii, as it was perceived that our paradise was a boondoggle or an unnecessary expense.

But that was before the economic picture brightened and perhaps before some people did their homework and realized that we do have fine convention facilities, up to date technical capabilities, and a decent infrastructure that enables hotels throughout Oahu and on the Neighbor Islands to deal with large crowds. Some of those wrong assumptions about the quality of business travel facilities in Hawaii were made before a very successful APEC conference here proved that Hawaii can hold its own with many so-called business meeting destinations.

While business travelers convened with no second thoughts for years in markets like New York, Las Vegas, or San Francisco, some saw Hawaii as simply too far away, too extravagant, or incapable of meeting needs for meetings. But nothing breeds success like positive experiences and solid word of mouth. The future continues to brighten for even more large business gatherings in our islands, and that will provide a nice boost to our major economic driver- tourism. Business travelers book well in advance, are very organized, and pay incrementally higher room rates than leisure travelers. It's a win-win scenario for local business and excited, satisfied visitors. Now if we can just make it easier for local businesses to do business here… Think about it…

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