HONOLULU – Continuously evolving and innovating as a world-class destination ideal for meetings, conventions and incentive groups, the Hawaiian Islands offer an unrivaled range of venues, accommodations, experiences and corporate social responsibility opportunities year-round. Read on to learn more about the latest MCI news from the Hawaiian Islands.


Meet Hawai‘i Launches Enhanced Website for Meeting Planners
Meet Hawai‘i has launched a completely refreshed website experience to support its efforts in attracting meetings, conventions, and business groups to the Hawaiian Islands. With a streamlined design and updated with comprehensive, relevant content and information, the Meet Hawai‘i website (www.meethawaii.com) offers an intuitive, one-stop destination for meeting planners. Based on customer feedback, the website now includes an interactive map of the Hawaiian Islands, island-specific planning information and a listing of unique venues — including the world-class Hawaiʻi Convention Center. It also highlights voluntourism experiences, sustainability programs, and Hawaiian cultural learning and corporate social responsibility opportunities. www.meethawaii.com

Meet Hawai‘i Bolsters Sales Team
Meet Hawai‘i has appointed two new sales executives with extensive experience to drive key meetings and conventions business to the Hawaiian Islands.

  • Tom Casademont has joined Meet Hawai‘i as Senior Director, Citywide Sales. Based in Orlando, Florida, he will handle the Washington, D.C., Virginia, Maryland and Southeast association markets. Bringing a wealth of experience, Casademont previously handled sales efforts for Hilton Hawaiian Village on O‘ahu and Hilton Waikoloa Village on the island of Hawai‘i. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
  • Susanna Flores has joined Meet Hawai‘i as Director, Citywide Sales. Based in the Greater Boston area, she will focus on all convention groups from the Northeast region and oversee Meet Hawai‘i’s corporate market strategy in the continental U.S. for citywide business. Hailing from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, Flores previously handled convention sales for San Francisco Travel and the Moscone Center.

Honolulu Named Safest City to Visit in the World (O‘ahu)
Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection (BHTP) has recognized Honolulu as the “Safest City to Travel to in the World” in 2024. Located on the island of O‘ahu, Honolulu also secured the top spot for its health measures, women/LGBTQ+/BIPOC safety, and safety from violent crime. BHTP’s State of Travel Insurance Safest Destinations report is the longest-running and most-trusted research project tracking U.S. travelers’ attitudes toward travel safety and travel insurance. To determine these rankings, BHTP analyzes a combination of the State of Travel Insurance survey responses compiled in September 2023 from travelers who have been to the destinations along with several third-party data sources. www.bhtp.com


Hawaiian Airlines’ New Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Welcomes First Guests
On April 15, Hawaiian Airlines marked a milestone in its 94-year history: seeing off the inaugural flight of its new flagship aircraft, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Aircraft N781NA, named Kapuahi (a star known as Aldebaran in Western astronomy), departed Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport for San Francisco. The carrier’s first 787-9 guests were welcomed with fresh lei and treated to live music and hula by the Hawaiian Airlines Serenaders. Kapuahi, which was revealed in February during a formal blessing ceremony in Honolulu, operated the carrier's nonstop, daily Honolulu-San Francisco flights through May 14. It then joined Hawaiian’s second 787-9, N780NA, to begin dedicated service between Honolulu-Los Angeles (HA2/3) starting May 14, and Honolulu-Phoenix on May 15. www.hawaiianairlines.com


Renaissance Honolulu Hotel & Spa Debuts in the Heart of Honolulu (O‘ahu)
Highgate, a leading hotel management, investment and development company, announces the grand opening of Renaissance Honolulu Hotel & Spa, a captivating new destination located in the heart of Honolulu. The hotel is set to redefine Oʻahu’s hospitality scene with a seamless blend of accessibility and indulgence, satisfying today’s discerning travelers with an urban, residential experience, effortless discovery and immersive island activities. Conveniently situated just a mile from the Hawai‘i Convention Center and near the world’s largest open-air retail oasis, Ala Moana Center, the soaring 39-story oasis in the sky features 187 meticulously designed rooms and suites and 112 welcoming residences with panoramic ocean and mountain range views. R.E.N. meetings and events programming blends sophistication and functionality with both indoor and outdoor spaces for groups of up to 75 people. www.marriott.com/en-us/hotels/hnlbr-renaissance-honolulu-hotel-and-spa/events/

AC Hotel by Marriott Honolulu Opens in Downtown Honolulu (O‘ahu)
The new AC Hotel by Marriott Honolulu opened in December as the first AC Hotel-branded property on Oʻahu. The boutique hotel, situated in downtown Honolulu, caters to business and leisure travelers, offering access to the Chinatown Historic District’s vibrant nightlife, restaurants and bars. A versatile venue for meetings and events, the hotel offers 2,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor space. A secret space within an old post office is home to Yours Truly, a hidden speakeasy. Yours Truly and other AC Hotel Honolulu dining outlets have also opened. www.Marriott.com

The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Kāʻanapali Concludes $160 Million Transformation with the Debut of Kūkahi Tower, Prepares to Unveil Hana Hou by Westin (Maui)
The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Kāʻanapali marks the completion of its multi-year, $160 million transformation with the complete renovation and rebranding of the Ocean Tower into Kūkahi Tower. Guests can now enjoy a completely refreshed design aimed at facilitating a calming and rejuvenating stay. The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Kāʻanapali will soon debut Hana Hou by Westin, the resort’s new social entertainment space. Encompassing 10,000 square feet, Hana Hou by Westin will offer a variety of entertainment for all ages, including top golf swing suites, duckpin bowling, virtual reality, modern and classic arcade games, a Keiki Club, and a bar and lounge with food and beverage offerings. www.westinmaui.com

OUTRIGGER Kona Resort & Spa Unveils $60 Million Transformation (Island of Hawai‘i)
Amidst a $60 million investment, the 22-acre OUTRIGGER Kona Resort & Spa proudly introduces a revitalized resort that honors its storied history while embracing the dynamic essence of its namesake, Keauhou, meaning “New Current” or “New Era.” The meticulously revitalized 511 guest rooms/suites and meeting spaces artfully blend the property’s profound heritage and reverence for voyaging with modern aesthetics. Inspired by the concept of “kōī au,” symbolizing a flowing current and eloquence, the resort’s design by Looney & Associates seamlessly incorporates oceanic currents and wave motifs into its interiors, offering a genuine reflection of the enchanting spirit of Keauhou Bay. The resort’s expansive Kaleiopapa Convention Center has also undergone enhancements, solidifying its status as a premier event venue with more than 100,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space. www.outrigger.com/hawaii/hawaii-big-island/outrigger-kona-resort-and-spa

Maui Coast Hotel Opens New Kai Tower (Maui)
Located in the heart of sunny Kīhei in South Maui, Maui Coast Hotel’s luxury Kai tower is nearing completion and accepting reservations for stays beginning June 1. In addition to the brand-new sleek and modern rooms and suites, the cherished hotel will be simultaneously unveiling a new pool deck with a lavish infinity pool and private cabanas. Adding to the fare served by Kihei Caffe and Hanohano Pool Bar, foodies can look forward to the addition of island-favorite Miso Phat Sushi as well as a poolside food truck serving up street tacos, nachos and poke bowls. Just steps from the white sands of Kama‘ole Beach Park I, Maui Coast Hotel’s unparalleled convenience makes it the perfect place to set out for an exhilarating day of snorkeling, swimming, surfing, or golf, capped off by an unforgettable evening of dining and entertainment. MauiCoastHotel.com

Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort Completes Renovations (O‘ahu)
Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort recently unveiled its newly renovated Waiola Wellness Wing, complete with property enhancements, amenities and oceanfront views of the iconic Waikīkī shoreline. The resort’s $85 million investment in renovations includes the addition of a Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman restaurant, a brand-new fitness facility, a Coral Reef Kids Club, and upscale residential-style rooms and suites, including the 4,000-square-footCoral Reef Penthouse. www.outrigger.com/hawaii/oahu/outrigger-waikiki-beach-resort

Waikiki Malia Reimagines Malia Tower (O‘ahu)
The Waikiki Malia welcomes shopaholics, cultural enthusiasts and adventure lovers of all kinds. The 18-story hotel is just a block from Waikīkī’s beaches and amidst an array of shopping and dining options. Built in 1959, the hotel recently finished a multi-million dollar reimagination of its Malia Tower, lobby and guestrooms, which offer striking ocean and city views. www.WaikikiMalia.com.


Tasting Kaua‘i Offers New Food Tour (Kaua‘i)
Tasting Kaua‘i’s new Waimea Walking Food Tour offers two-and-a-half hours of walking, tasting local food, and learning about the rich history and lifestyle of the island’s west side. Following the tour, participants are encouraged to visit the lookouts of Waimea Canyon State Park — also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific — and check out Kōke‘e State Park. www.tastingkauai.com

Cacao Farm Tour Debuts (Island of Hawai‘i)
Honoli‘i Orchards recently introduced its first Mānoa Chocolate cacao farm tour experience for guests. Situated on the east-facing slope of Maunakea, Honoli‘i Orchards benefits from the east side of the island’s ideal growing conditions, marked by abundant rainfall, deep volcanic soil and dynamic terrain carved by the Honoli‘i Stream. Guests will learn about the area's history and take a tour exploring the evolution of chocolate from its ancient origins to its modern craft variations. After a tasting of 10 craft chocolate bars made from cacao sourced from Hawai‘i farms, they will learn about the diversity of flavors and unique terroir of Hawai‘i cacao. https://manoachocolate.com/pages/farm-tours

Son’z Steakhouse Open for Guests in West Maui (Maui)
Son’z Steakhouse is an elegant surf ‘n’ turf restaurant located at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa in Kā’anapali, Maui. It offers open-air seating by a swan-populated pond, making it a perfect place to enjoy a romantic dinner or an enjoyable, comfortable meal with family and friends. The menu features a variety of classic and modern steak and seafood dishes, as well as an extensive wine list, wines by the glass and craft cocktails. Some of the signature dishes include the Son’z Steakhouse Filet Mignon, the Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi-Mahi, and the Lobster Scampi. Son’z Steakhouse is also known for its excellent service and its sophisticated atmosphere. www.sonzsteakhouse.com

Dine on New Cuisine at Cane & Canoe (Maui)
Settle in at Montage Kapalua Bay’s newest island-inspired restaurant led by Chef de Cuisine Albert Sandoval. The dining venue has added new menu items to its collection of flavors that honor the Hawaiian Islands and the Pacific Ocean. While enjoying a romantic dinner or special occasion, visitors can try decadent Diver Scallops or Charred Spanish Octopus as starters, followed by exceptional mains — new selections include Vadouvan Curry, Lion’s Mane Filet, Kona Kanpachi & Kauaʻi Prawns and Duroc Pork Chop. New furnishings will also be featured at the restaurant, further elevating the dining experience. www.montage.com/kapaluabay/menus/cane-canoe-dinner-menu-2/

Original Hawaiian Chocolate Unveils New Cacao Beans (Island of Hawai‘i)
Original Hawaiian Chocolate (OHC) launched a new product, 100% Hawaiian Roasted Whole Cacao Beans. Available in both Forastero and Criollo varieties, the cacao beans are sugar- and caffeine-free, offering a subtle chocolate aroma and taste similar to OHC’s Cacao Tea. Enjoy the beans individually or add them to a favorite snack mix or recipe. They can also be purchased at OHC’s Chocolate Shoppe in Keauhou-Kona on the island of Hawai‘i and online in the weeks ahead. www.ohcf.us


Bishop Museum Announces New Original Exhibition (O‘ahu)
Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, the State of Hawai‘i Museum of Natural and Cultural History, announced a new original exhibition at its Castle Memorial Building in May: Ka ʻUla Wena: Oceanic Red. Ka ʻUla Wena: Oceanic Red is the first exhibition of its kind to gather material culture of Oceania and articulate the multiple uses and understandings of a single color: red. In Hawai‘i, red is significant. It is present in both every day and sacred objects, in ‘ōlelo (speech) and mo‘olelo (stories), and in the names and classifications of nature and place. This exhibition aims to explore how red signifies beyond color. BishopMuseum.org

13th Festival of Pacific Arts & Culture to Convene (O‘ahu)
FestPAC is the world’s largest celebration of indigenous Pacific Islanders. For the first time, the 13th festival will convene on the island of O‘ahu from June 6 to 16. More than 2,200 delegates, including artists, cultural practitioners, scholars and officials from 27 nations, will gather for 10 days of cultural exchange, appreciation and celebration at various venues across the island, including the Festival Village and Marketplace at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. www.festpachawaii.org

Cirque du Soleil and OUTRIGGER Debut ‘Auana (O‘ahu)
After much anticipation, Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group is proud to unveil its first resident production in Hawai‘i entitled, “‘Auana”. Coming to the OUTRIGGER Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel in late 2024, this unique curation of artistry, acrobatics and heritage brings a new dawn of live entertainment with this Hawai‘i-inspired production. The title, ‘Auana, stems from the loose translation to wander, veer off the beaten path or to embark on a journey. After careful consideration and in collaboration with community voices, Cultural Creative Producer Dr. Aaron J. Salā, Director Neil Dorward , Costume Designer Manaola Yap and Choreographer Kumu Hula Hiwa Vaughan, ‘Auana was selected to foreshadow the thrilling adventure that audience members will take part in, traversing through Hawai‘i’s unique mo‘olelo (stories) and stylized depictions of historic milestone events. Still under development, ‘Auana promises to meld the poetic and nuanced Hawaiian worldview with Cirque du Soleil’s signature style of breathtaking acrobatics, dramatic storytelling, and flair. www.CirqueDuSoleil.com

New Cultural Programming at Timbers Kauaʻi (Kauaʻi)
Timbers Kaua‘i is offering new cultural programming aimed at immersing guests in the rich heritage and history of the island. Guests can learn the art of ti kūpeʻe (ti-leaf bracelet making) typically used in hula as adornments, and ‘ohe kāpala, the Hawaiian art of bamboo stamping, typically utilized for printing designs on paper or fabrics. Timbers Kaua‘i also offers Hawaiian language, ‘ukulele and lei-making lessons. www.TimbersKauai.com

Hilton Hawaiian Village Launches Beachfront Special Edition of its Lūʻau (O‘ahu)
In February, Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort launched a special weekly edition of its popular Waikīkī Starlight Lūʻau. Held on Friday evenings, the show takes place on the beachfront Great Lawn – one of the resort’s most scenic and coveted venues – with guests being treated to spectacular performances, island cuisine, and quick access to amazing vantage points to watch the spectacular Friday Night Fireworks on Duke Kahanamoku Beach. The Waikīkī Starlight Friday Fireworks Lūʻau features interactive Hawaiian games and cultural activities and a buffet of island-inspired cuisine. www.HHVLuau.com

Kilohana Hula Show Debuts in Waikīkī (Oʻahu)
Presented by the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) and Kilohana by CNHA, a new version of the renowned Waikīkī hula show once put on by Kodak debuted at the Waikīkī Shell in February. Running Sundays through Wednesdays, the free, open-to-the-public Kilohana Hula Show highlights mele (songs) honoring Waikīkī and feature dancers from six award-winning hālau hula (hula groups) from across Hawai‘i. CNHA worked with Rick Barboza, Native Hawaiian plant specialist and co-owner of Hui Kū Maoli Ola, to reintroduce Native Hawaiian plants to the Waikīkī Shell venue. www.ExperienceKilohana.com

Newly Launched Walking Tour of Historic Kailua Village (Island of Hawai‘i)
The Kailua Village Business Improvement District debuted a complimentary guided, history-revealing walking tour of Historic Kailua Village, happening on Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. Guided by noted kumu hula (hula teacher) Pelena Keeling, who grew up in Kailua Village, the tour shares the history of the village, knowledge of Hawaiian culture and local insight. The tour begins at the banyan tree on Ka‘ahumanu Place, adjacent to Kailua Pier, and continues to Kamehameha I residence Kamakahonu, Ahu‘ena Heiau, Moku‘aikaua Church, and through Historic Kailua Village, concluding at Hulihe‘e Palace. www.historickailuavillage.com

Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa Debuts Heritage Center (O‘ahu)
Helmed by Culture Advisor Leilani Kūpahu-Marino Kaho‘āno, the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort and Spa’s recently opened Heritage Center offers activities every Wednesday including: ʻoli – participating in this Hawaiian form of chanting; a history lesson where participants can learn about Hawaiian monarchs who once lived in Waikīkī, the history of Waikīkī and the global view of Hawai‘i; contemporary hula lesson and dance; Hawaiian language lesson; and Hawaiian floral design. www.waikikimarriott.com

International Market Place Launches Cultural Audio Tour (O‘ahu)
Positively promoting Hawaiian culture, the International Market Place (IMP) recently launched one of Waikīkī’s first GPS-enabled audio tours illuminating the area’s rich history and promoting cultural understanding through stories, sound and music. As guests walk the center, geotags initiate soundbites at 20 of IMP’s architectural features, sharing stories of significant people, places and practices that have shaped the area’s history. shopinternationalmarketplace.com


Romer Waikiki at The Ambassador Offers Volunteer Cleanups (O‘ahu)
On the second Thursday of each month, Romer Waikiki at The Ambassador invites friends, community members and hotel guests to help show its neighboring King Kalākaua Park some TLC. The hotel worked with the City of Honolulu to adopt the park and now helps keep it clean with volunteer cleanups. Following cleanups, guests with a wristband indicating they helped receive a free drink at the hotel’s Waikiki Swim and Social Club, which features a pop-up market, an aura photobooth and music spun by EP Bar. www.RomerHotels.com

Holo Holo Charters Launches Newly Redesigned Headquarters (Kaua‘i)
Holo Holo Charters has unveiled its newly redesigned headquarters with new furniture that provides a comfortable place for guests before setting sail on their Nāpali Coast tour. The new floor plan gives ample room for guests to check-in, browse retail space and learn about Hawaiian culture on HD TVs. www.holoholocharters.com

New Jamie O‘Brien School of Surf Waikiki Opens (O‘ahu)
The Twin Fin Hotel, in partnership with Beach Candy Waikiki and the Jamie O’Brien Surf Experience, recently launched the new Jamie O’Brien School of Surf Waikiki. Housed in the oceanfront hotel’s ground-level storefront, the Jamie O’Brien School of Surf Waikiki is a new venture from Oʻahu resident, professional surfer, filmmaker and Banzai Pipeline surf competition champion Jamie O’Brien. The school specializes in family and group surf lessons, with all surf experiences conceptualized and designed by O’Brien and led by local instructors selected for their ocean knowledge and surf skills. www.TwinFinWaikiki.com

Kualoa Ranch Offers New UTV Tour (Oʻahu)
Kualoa Ranch recently launched a new three-hour deluxe semi-private UTV tour. Offered six-times daily, the guided tour utilizes Kawasaki off-road UTV vehicles for a behind-the-scenes adventure to the backcountry of the ranch’s Kaʻaʻawa and Hakipuʻu valleys unreachable by other vehicles and tours. Guides customize the tour’s narration to guests’ Kualoa interests, sharing stories of Hollywood movies filmed in the valley, its historic places, Hawaiian legends, and valley farming, aquaculture and ranching. www.Kualoa.com

Grand Wailea Debuts Kilolani Spa (Maui)
Unveiled in February, the Grand Wailea’s Kilolani Spa (Maui) honors the stargazers of early Hawaiʻi who looked to the skies to navigate their ocean course. Drawing inspiration from the kaulana mahina — Hawaiian lunar calendar — which divides each month into three helu pō, or moon phases, Kilolani aims to create what the resort calls “space for healing, rejuvenation and restoration.” The spa’s programming evolves in tandem with the current anahulu (10-day period) and features native botanicals, holistic bodywork treatments and mindfulness practices enhanced by modern wellness methods. www.GrandWailea.com

Umauma Experience Offers Two New Tours (Island of Hawai‘i)
The Umauma Experience now offers a Triple-Tier Waterfall Rappel and River Tour for adventure seekers interested in immersive experiences. Guests on the tour rappel alongside the triple-tier waterfalls of Umauma Stream and can swim or float in water tubes. All needed gear is provided, and no experience is necessary. The Umauma Triple-Tier Waterfall Rappel and River Tour is operated by Island Mountain Guides LLC on the Umauma Falls property. On the new Aloha ʻĀina E-Bike Culture and Swim Tour, knowledgeable guides lead guests via e-bikes on a narrated journey sharing knowledge of native Hawai‘i trees and plants as well as the skills and resourcefulness of the Hawaiian culture. Finally, take a dip at a waterfall, which is only accessible through The Umauma Experience. www.umaumaexperience.com

Newly Opened Spa Soleil and Boutique (Maui)
Spa Soleil and Boutique, formerly known as Kamaha‘o, a Marilyn Monroe Spa, recently opened at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa. The luxurious spa offers a curated selection of treatments to cater to every need. The spa aims to provide a serene escape for individuals seeking a diverse range of spa services, from convenient express treatments to indulgent full-service treatment and relaxation experiences. In addition to spa services, guests can explore the boutique featuring carefully curated products, from skincare essentials to unique gifts. www.spasoleil.net

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park Project Underway (Island of Hawai‘i)
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park has commenced a two-year disaster recovery project that will include the removal of the former Thomas A. Jaggar Museum and USGS-operated volcano observatory facilities, Okamura Building and the Annex at Uēkahuna. A new USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory field station is being built near Kīlauea Military Camp’s historic ballfield. The recovery project also includes the construction of an administrative driving lane at the park entrance and a roundabout west of the entrance. With work and temporary traffic control already in place since March, the new, traffic-alleviating configuration will aim to improve safety and congestion at the park entrance and help visitors explore the park more easily. Park visitors are urged to plan ahead for their visits, expect delays and prepare for temporary area closures. www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/construction-closures.htm


About Meet Hawaiʻi
Meet Hawaiʻi is a collaboration of the Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) and the Hawaiʻi 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 Global MCI efforts of the Meet Hawaiʻi team are overseen and funded by Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, the State of Hawaiʻi’s agency responsible for holistically managing tourism in a sustainable manner. HTA works with the community and industry to Mālama Hawai‘i – care for our beloved home. For information about Meet Hawaiʻi and the hosting of meetings, conventions and incentives, please visit MeetHawaii.com.

Special note to media: The Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) recognizes the use of the ‘okina [‘] or glottal stop, one of the eight consonants of the (modern) Hawaiian language; and the kahakō [ā] or macron (e.g., in place names of Hawai‘i such as Lāna‘i). However, HVCB respects the individual use of these markings for names of organizations and businesses.

Media Contacts:
Darlene Morikawa                                                         
Senior Director of PR/Communications
Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau
(808) 924-0259

Nathan Kam
Senior Partner, Public Relations
Anthology, A FINN Partners Company
(808) 539-3471