Travel Weekly's Hawaii E-letter: April 2, 2007

THE KONA VILLAGE RESORT on the Big Island has been bought by a joint-venture partnership of MSD Capital, the private investment firm for Michael Dell and family, and Rockpoint Group, a global investment management firm. Previous owner, Ty Warner Hotels and Resorts, will retain an interest in the property. Kona Village is adjacent to the Hualalai Resort, purchased by MSD Capital and Rockpoint Group in June 2006. According to representatives of the joint venture, the two properties will retain independent identities, with plans in the making for upgrades to the 125-unit Kona Village.

THE KIELE V, a tour catamaran owned and operated by the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa, suffered a broken mast March 25 that resulted in the death of one passenger and injury to two others. The catamaran, on a whale-watching cruise, was about two miles from the shore when the mast broke, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, which helped in the rescue of the remaining passengers and crew aboard. The Kiele V had 47 passengers and five crew members aboard at the time of the accident. In addition to the Coast Guard, the Maui Fire Dept. and two nearby tour boats also assisted in the rescue operations. An investigation as to cause is underway.

HAWAIIAN AIRLINES has completed a $1.1 remake of its Web site, introducing a range of cross-referenced materials designed to generate sales beyond airline ticketing. The new site raises the bar in terms of content and booking options, with a trip planner, that allows for personalized itineraries to Hawaii or mainland gateway cities served by Hawaiian. The tool provides a comprehensive search-and-purchase function offering the hotels, rental car companies and activity providers alongside travel information from Frommer's Travel Guides and Amazon.com.

 

THE HAWAII TOURISM AUTHORITY has published a guide to culturally accurate use of Hawaiian language and identifying important cultural accuracy in marketing Hawaii. The Style and Resource Guide provides a handy reference tool and clarifies facts about the islands that might have been miscommunicated. The new guide is designed to avoid culturally insensitive usages. To download a copy, visit www.hawaiitourismauthority.org.

PEOPLE & PLACES

" Outrigger Enterprises Group has named Burton Kong marketing projects manager, responsible for marketing the Outrigger and Ohana brands to consumers and travel agents.

" Aqua Resorts & Hotels has made a number of appointments. Joseph Yamaoka has been named general manager of the 262-room Aqua Palms & Spa. Yamaoka has been with Aqua since 2001. KeAlii Alexander has been named general manager of the Aqua Aloha Surf, and Terry Yasuhara, a Hawaii hotel veteran, is the new general manager of the 740-room Aqua Island Colony.

Hawaii Editor: Allan Seiden

Phone: (808) 734-4677

[email protected]

For promotional opportunities in the Hawaii E-letter, contact Debbie Joseph at [email protected].

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