HONOLULU - Photo courtesy of HTA
HONOLULU – Photo courtesy of HTA

HONOLULU – The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA), the state’s tourism agency, is pleased to announce the confirmation of additional speakers and sessions for its upcoming annual Hawai‘i Tourism Conference, Aha ‘Oihana Ho‘omāka‘ika‘i, on Aug. 22-23, 2013 at the Hawai‘i Convention Center.

  • Facebook global marketing solutions manager David Parfect will share the latest social media trends, its influence on travel and how to utilize Facebook to grow destination awareness and affect travel.
  • Marketing research experts Jeffrey Eslinger, account services director at D.K. Shifflet & Associates LTD.  and Matthew McDougall, CEO and founder of Digital Jungle LTD. will provide insight on how North American and Asian travelers view Hawai‘i and other destinations to show how we stack up against the competition.
  • A new Meetings, Conventions and Incentives (MCI) panel will include local group sellers and respected industry partners who will discuss what is currently being done to grow this market and how to build the “business brand” for Hawai‘i.
  • Writing the Next Chapter: Update of the Tourism Strategic Plan session is a recent addition to bring conference attendees up-to-date on the planning process for Hawai‘i’s 2015-2020 Tourism Strategic Plan and provide an opportunity to offer input on the plan’s collective ambition statement.

“Securing executives from prominent companies like Facebook, D.K. Shifflet & Associates and Digital Jungle will provide our attendees with insight from top experts in their fields,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the HTA. “This year, the HTA also looks forward to offering more collaborative opportunities for attendees with the addition of the MCI panel and our Tourism Strategic Plan forum.”

Themed “Defining the Next Chapter,” the conference offers highly-informative sessions to engage and learn from presenters on key topics in today’s ever-evolving travel industry. Attendees can look forward to connecting with experts discussing everything from hotels and airlift to the economy and social media, and discover ways to continue the success of one of the state’s leading economic drivers.

Attached is a full-conference schedule and list of speakers, the agenda may also be downloaded at http://hta.hiconferences.com.

The first-day of the conference will also include the Hawai‘i Marketplace featuring exhibits by industry partners. Previously, the Marketplace highlighted only HTA-affiliated programs and partnerships. This year, other businesses and organizations have an opportunity to showcase their services, products, programs or events to more than 600 of Hawai‘i’s travel and tourism industry stakeholders. The deadline for companies to sign up to participate in the Hawai‘i Marketplace is Thursday, Aug. 1.  Space is limited.  For more information or to register for a booth, please contact Laci Goshi at laci@gohta.net or (808) 973-2268.

Early bird rates are available through July 31 at $175 per person or $165 per person for groups of five or more for employees of the same company. From Aug. 1, the individual rate will increase to $190 per person and the group rate will be $180 per person. Registration fees include educational sessions, breakfasts, lunch and reception. To register for this event, visit: http://hta.hiconferences.com or call (808) 230-7625.

Established in 1998, the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, the state’s tourism agency, is responsible for strategically managing tourism to optimize benefits for Hawai‘i that integrates the interest of visitors, the community and visitor industry. Tourism is our state’s leading economic driver and largest employer and the HTA continually works to ensure its sustainability well into the future. For more information on the HTA, please visitwww.hawaiitourismauthority.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter (@HawaiiHTA).

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