BY NELSON ALCANTARA — eTurboNews and the the Hawaii Tourism Association (HiTA) jointly attended the 5th Luxury and Leisure Travel Show in Moscow. This is the second largest event in Russia promoting outbound tourism for the lucrative Russian market.
Hawaii was among the new stars at the event and received enormous interest both among trade professionals and consumer travelers. The limited number of brochures and material was given out within the first day of the three-day event.
Hawaii was represented by Hawaii Russia Tours and their Russian-based staff. With the support of the US Department of Commerce Export Assistance center, more than 600 potential agencies in Russia were invited to learn more about Hawaii travel opportunities..
The participation was made possible by the support of eTurboNews (eTN), who donated their stand to the Hawaii Tourism Association. This gave Hawaii-based businesses the opportunity to attend the event free of charge. No public money was spent, and the Hawaii Tourism Association did not spend any money for this private initiative.
HiTA president and eTN publisher Juergen T. Steinmetz said: “We are pleased to report this event was a full success for Hawaii, and it put Hawaii on the map of tour operators and potential visitors in Russia. Currently, niche operators in Hawaii cater to about 500 arrivals from Russia every week, and Russian travelers are high spenders when traveling abroad.”
“This confirms our concern that Hawaii should look at secondary markets and not just put their dollars into one basket,” Steinmetz said, “This was a grassroots effort, and we paid for all the costs in order to show the industry the potential of new markets. We’re looking forward to attending Fairfest in Mumbai and Delhi in February, along with a number of smaller events around the globe in cooperation with eTN. HiTA together with eTurboNews introduced a number of mini road shows in important secondary markets in the Western USA and in key cities in Germany.
“We are concerned about medium and smaller players in the travel industry not getting their fair share of the market. This event shows that even without the support of government organizations, such as the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) or the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB), a private association like ours can make a difference and create business for smaller tour operators, private hotels, restaurants, and attractions that cater to additional important markets. HiTA invites businesses to join us to explore more opportunities. The next step is to announce a task group to open the Russian, Indian, and EU market to more businesses in Hawaii.”
HiTA is a private association and relies on partnerships and donations for its development work. Anyone is welcome to join HiTA’s effort by becoming a volunteer. More information on www.hawaiitourismassociation.com