Encouraging Repeat Visitors in Hawai’i

Strategy: Enhance Your Product, Focus on Customer Potential, Know Your Customer/Product, Serve Local Community

Type of attraction: Museum/Historic Site, Tourism Organization

Summary: In June 2010, the Hawai’i Tourism Authority (HTA) launched a new Hawai’i Heritage Sites program to promote significant heritage sites on the Hawaiian Islands.

In June 2010, the Hawai’i Tourism Authority (HTA) launched a new Hawai’i Heritage Sites program to promote significant heritage sites on the Hawaiian Islands. Twenty sites were selected as Hawai‘i Heritage Sites based on criteria that included historical, environmental, and/or cultural significance, accessibility (including an ability to handle increased visitor traffic), and a willingness on the part of site managers to be featured as part of this effort.

“Our research showed a trend, in the Japanese market in particular, to seek out World Heritage Sites,” notes Robbie Kane, HTA Tourism Brand Manager. “Our Hawai’i Heritage Sites have signage as well as a supporting marketing program that includes information about the significance of each site to attract the attention of travelers interested in our unique heritage and drive demand for travel to Hawai‘i.”

More than 60% of Hawai’i’s visitors are repeat travelers who have already experienced the attractions a first-time visitor would be interested in. To encourage repeat visitors to come back to Hawai’i, it is especially important to show that there are other experiences that visitors can still discover.

“Our repeat visitors here in Hawai’i want to get out into our communities. They are interested in finding out about the things that locals do. They want an authentic experience, not something created for visitors only. They often feel a part of the community and want to learn more,” notes Kane.

As a result, the HTA does more than just promote Hawai’i. HTA also helps to support community festivals and events, and other programs that help to perpetuate native Hawaiian traditions, protect the natural environment, and support Hawai’i's multi-cultural heritage. These programs help to improve the quality of life for residents while enriching the visitor experience.

The HTA was created in 1998 to ensure a successful visitor industry well into the future. Its mission is to strategically manage Hawai‘i tourism in a sustainable manner consistent with its economic goals, cultural values, preservation of natural resources, community desires, and visitor industry needs.