HONOLULU, HAWAII – PRNewswire via COMTEX — Hawaii’s meetings industry is ready to show the world what makes the Hawaiian Islands such a premier destination for meetings and conventions with the hosting of the 2011 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Meeting (APEC), November 7-13.

Hosting APEC 2011 is an unprecedented opportunity for the people of Hawaii,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. “For one week in November, the eyes of the world will be on Hawaii. And the world will experience the Aloha Spirit and our famous island hospitality. But more importantly, the world will see that Hawaii is rich with innovation, business successes and opportunities for investment. The HTA remains committed to working with the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau and the Hawaii Convention Center to position our state as a global meetings destination.”

APEC is the most important business meetings convention in Hawaii’s history. President Barack Obama will be joined in Honolulu by 20 other heads of state from Pacific Rim nations to address issues of economic growth, trade, and investment. Up to 20,000 international delegates are expected in Honolulu for APEC to do business, including finance ministers, diplomats, policy-makers, and top CEOs. Honolulu is APEC’s first U.S. host site since 1993.

APEC’s impact is global, as its 21-member economies account for 40% of the world population, 54% of the world gross domestic product, and 44% of world trade.

John Monahan, president and CEO of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, believes APEC will be a perception-changing conference for Hawaii’s meetings industry. “The world knows Hawaii as a dream vacation destination, but APEC will show that our islands are an ideal setting for hosting serious business meetings, and especially adept when it comes to gatherings involving international interests,” commented Monahan.

Hawaii’s meetings industry has been undergoing extensive preparations for APEC, including property improvements, special training, and accommodating the requirements of various government agencies involved with the hosting of so many leaders and dignitaries at the same time.

As with every group that meets in the Hawaiian Islands for business, Monahan said, “Our meetings industry is primed to show APEC’s delegates the very best of Hawaii in satisfying all of their demands and logistical needs to successfully get business done.”

Hawaii offers state-of-the-art meeting facilities and world-class accommodations staffed by highly experienced tourism professionals who are the standard-bearers when it comes to hospitality and service. Add in Hawaii’s cultural diversity, the warmth of its Aloha Spirit, and the islands’ spectacular natural beauty, and groups conduct business in a rejuvenating meeting environment offered nowhere else in the world.

A focal point for the business of APEC will be the Hawaii Convention Center, considered the crown jewel of Hawaii’s meetings industry facilities. Located at the entrance to Waikiki, the beautifully designed, five-star Hawaii Convention Center will host ministerial and business meetings during APEC week, and will also house the media center for the estimated 2,000 journalists coming from around the world.

“Hawaii is uniquely positioned to serve as a location of shared convenience between North America and Asia, putting us at the crossroads of culture, geography and business,” said Joe Davis, SMG general manager of the Hawaii Convention Center. “Our diversity, industry leadership, world-class facilities, and our genuine Aloha Spirit make Hawaii an unbeatable place to meet across multiple disciplines.”

Guiding Hawaii’s hosting of APEC is the APEC 2011 Hawaii Host Committee, a blue chip panel from the private and public sector led by Chairman Peter Ho, president and CEO of Bank of Hawaii, Executive Vice-Chair Timothy Johns, senior vice president of HMSA, Mike McCartney, Dr. Charles Morrison, president of The East-West Center, and Hawaii Lieutenant Governor Brian Schatz.

Along with showcasing Hawaii’s strengths as a meetings destination, the Host Committee is highlighting other key Hawaii industry sectors during APEC: sustainability and clean energy, life and health sciences, and earth, ocean and sky sciences.

For more information about APEC 2011 Hawaii, visit www.apec2011Hawaii.com

The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) is the state of Hawaii’s tourism agency and 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. Under HTA’s direction, the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau provides marketing management services for the state’s conventions, meetings and incentives market segment throughout North America, and SMG markets and manages the Hawaii Convention Center.

SOURCE Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau; Copyright (C) 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved                     

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