Aloha! As we settle into 2019, we find the new year bringing intriguing new updates and developments for meetings, conventions and incentives in the Hawaiian Islands. Let the cultural programs rooted in Hawaii’s sense of place and the various sustainable and ecoadventure tours inspire attendees to enjoy what the islands have to offer which will allow them to “come back better”. Meaning, they’ll return home rejuvenated and invigorated by what Hawaii has to offer.

 

ACCOMODATIONS AND MEETING VENUES

The Hawaii Convention Center is expanding its client and guest services, recently adding its new pop-up 1801 Café + Bar and additional amenities for enhanced planning and on-site convenience. New amenities include an easily accessible business center on the convention center’s third floor; 12 luxurious massage chairs to offer relaxation respites; two secure charging station locker bays; the Hoomaluō conservation program, which offers tailored community involvement opportunities; a specially designed Mamava nursing pod to provide a secure, comfortable and private lactation space for mothers; and more. www.hawaiiconvention.com 

Groups have a new space in Waikiki to catch live Hawaiian music with Jerry Santos and Friends recently kicking off regular performances in the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort’s Paradise Lounge on Fridays and Saturdays, from 8 to 11 p.m. The co-founder of pioneering Hawaii music duo Olomana, singer-songwriter-musician Santos has been a cornerstone of the contemporary Hawaiian music scene for decades. Visitors are invited to relax and listen to his repertoire of generation-defining Olomana and solo songs while enjoying the lounge’s selection of cocktails, wine and beer. The food menu at Paradise Lounge includes a range of appetizers – edamame, firecracker shrimp and more – and large plates – the Bali burger, surf and turf sandwich and more. Bonus: the full menu of the resort’s signature restaurant Bali Steak and Seafood is also served in the Paradise Lounge. www.hiltonhawaiianvillage.com

Adventurers at Hilton Waikoloa Village can now tour the Kohala Coast and island of Hawaii in a whole new way with the resort’s recently acquired collection of Polaris Slingshot roadster rentals. Now available for exploring, the two-seat Polaris Slingshot three-wheeled open-air roadsters are equipped with performance-inspired 173-horsepower GM Ecotec 2.4L DOHC 4-cylinder engines and 5-speed manual transmissions ready for driving the island’s scenic roadways. Drivers have a choice of several roadster trim levels. And all Slingshots are equipped with a Polaris 7-inch Ride Command Display, featuring turn-by-turn navigation, Bluetooth and USB. www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com

 

ACTIVITIES AND ATTRACTIONS

Following 25 years of building its reputation on the island of Hawaii, Hawaii Forest and Trail is launching three never-before-offered custom outdoor adventures on Oahu. The Farm to Forest adventure offers guests an opportunity to experience the local history and culture of Oahu through the island's unique sights, stories and food. Guests enjoy a birds-eye view of Oahu and discover how Honolulu’s volcanic past continues to shape and influence island life on the Honolulu Heights tour. And guests on the Birds and Wildlife of Oahu adventure track native and exotic species at a private-access forest reserve high in the Waianae Mountains, and at the beaches and wetlands of the coast below. www.hawaii-forest.com

Maverick Helicopters recently expanded its Hawaii operations, adding air tours to the island of Kauai with flights departing daily from the company’s facility at Port Allen Airport. Located on Kauais south shore, minutes away from Poipu, the airport is an ideal starting point for air tours highlighting the island’s spectacular landscapes, including Waimea Canyon, the iconic Napali Coast and Manawaiopuna (aka Jurassic) Falls. On each excursion, guests are flown in the Airbus EC130 ECO-Star, rated one of the world’s safest and most comfortable touring helicopter. The aircraft features a spacious cabin seating up to seven passengers, voice-activated headsets, theater-style leather seating, and wraparound windows for better visibility. www.flymaverick.com

Hawaii Forest and Trail now offers visitors staying in Hilo, on the island of Hawaii’s east side, an opportunity to see the day begin from the 13,803-foot elevation summit of dormant Maunakea volcano on its Maunakea Sunrise Experience. Guests on the land-based tour learn about the cultural and scientific significance of Hawaii’s tallest mountain as they stand among its world-class collection of astronomical observatories. Mauna Kea Sunrise Experience guest pickups in Hilo include the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, Grand Naniloa Hotel Hilo – A DoubleTree by Hilton, Hilo Seaside Hotel, Hilo Bay Hostel and Dolphin Bay Hotel. www.hawaii-forest.com

Paradise Helicopters is expanding service to the Waimea-Kohala Airport on the island of Hawaii with the launch of a new air tour of the breathtaking valleys and waterfalls of Kohala mountain. The half-hour Kohala Doors-Off Valleys and Waterfalls tour is offered in the mid-morning and mid-afternoon on Mondays and Thursdays, with tour prices at $324 per person. www.paradisecopters.com

 

FOOD, DRINK AND DINING

Kauai Coffee will be soon introducing motorized tram tours of its 3,100-acre coffee orchard, one of the largest in the United States. Guests on the guided tour will learn how the company’s coffee is sustainably grown, harvested and roasted on Kauai, and the origin and history of coffee farming on the island as they ride past some of the estate’s more than 4 million trees. Post-tour, guests are invited to relax on Kauai Coffee’s lanai, sample its estate-grown coffees, and take in panoramic views of its picturesque fields of coffee trees stretching downslope to the ocean. www.kauaicoffee.com/visit-the-kauai-coffee-estate

Stripsteak Waikiki defines itself as “the steakhouse evolved,” encompassing “all the tradition of a classic steakhouse with (chef/co-owner) Michael Mina’s modern flair.” It is also Mina’s flagship Hawaii restaurant, open for leisure or business events, with a private space accommodating up to 42 guests for a seated dinner and 70 for a standing reception. The restaurant can also be reserved in its entirety for up to 300 guests for a seated dinner and 400 for a standing reception. www.stripsteakwaikiki.com

Visitors to Monkeypod Jam’s store on Kauai’s south shore are invited to participate in an intimate preserve tasting experience with the company’s founder Aletha Thomas. Attendees taste a seasonal flight of pupu (appetizers) highlighting the current season's savory and sweet preserves and sip on a fresh-juiced refreshment while Thomas shares the history, methods and agriculture of Monkeypod Jam. Post-discussion, the Monkeypod Jam team presents a comprehensive tasting of the preserve maker’s most current collection of jams, jellies, syrups, ferments and chutneys. Guests receive a 10 percent discount on all preserve purchased at the tasting. www.monkeypodjam.com

 

FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

The Kailua Village Business Improvement District recently announced 2019 dates for its signature events in Historic Kailua Village on the island of Hawaii. Kokua Kailua, a popular monthly village stroll on historic Kailua-Kona’s Alii Drive, happens one Sunday monthly, from 1 to 6 p.m. Kokua Kailua dates for 2019 are January 20, February 17, March 17, April 14, May 19, June 9, July 21, August 18, September 15, October 20, November 17 and December 15. Held on the last Saturday of each month, the organization’s Hawaiian Sunset Saturday – now in its second year – presents an hourlong program of hula and live music on the grassy lawn of the Coconut Grove Market Place overlooking the calm waters of Kailua Bay. www.historickailuavillage.com

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the Honolulu Festival is one of Hawaiis premier annual cultural events. The three-day festival shares the rich, vibrant cultures of Hawaii and its Pacific Rim neighbors with attendees through educational programs and activities, craft fairs, and arts and entertainment. Honolulu Festival concludes with a grand evening parade through Waikiki and its colorful and dramatic Nagaoka Fireworks Show offshore of the resort area’s beaches. www.honolulufestival.com

The East Taro Maui Festival features all-day hula and music, local arts and crafts, and a farmers market spotlighting multiple species of kalo (taro) and the root crop’s many uses. Vendors at the festival retail everything from kalo huli (shoots) and potted kalo plants, to kulolo (a kalo dessert made with coconut and coconut milk) and fresh poi. Hands-on cultural activities at the festival include poi pounding, lauhala (pandanus leaf) weaving and kapa/tapa (bark) cloth making. The East Maui Taro Festival also features lots of tasty local-style food favorites for sale. www.tarofestival.org

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About Meet Hawaii

Meet Hawaii is a collaboration of the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), HTA’s Global Marketing Teams and the Hawaii Convention Center (HCC) to reinforce the brand of the Hawaiian Islands as a world-class destination for global business meetings, conventions, and incentive programs. The marketing efforts of the Meet Hawaii team are overseen by HTA, the state of Hawaii’s tourism agency. HTA was established in 1998 to ensure a successful visitor industry well into the future. Its mission is to strategically manage Hawaii tourism in a sustainable manner consistent with the state of Hawaii’s economic goals, cultural values, preservation of natural resources, community desires and visitor industry needs. For information about Meet Hawaii and the hosting of meetings, conventions and incentives, please visit MeetHawaii.com.


Media Contacts:

Samantha Tsui                                         

Anthology Marketing Group                                                  

(808) 539-3440

Samantha.Tsui@AnthologyGroup.com