Travel Weeklys Hawaii E-letter: April 11, 2005

THE HAWAII TOURISM AUTHORITY (HTA) is holding a statewide seminar entitled Creating Successful Festivals & Events from May 3 to 6. The seminars will feature full-day workshops with lectures by national and local experts who will speak about sponsorship, branding and marketing. The Oahu meeting will be held on May 3 at the Hawaii Convention Center; May 4 at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott on the Big Island; May 5 at the Marriott Resort on Kauai; and May 6 at the Wailea Marriott on Maui. Cost is $25 per person. The registration deadline is April 27. Call (808) 528-4050.

THE AQUA ALOHA SURF in Waikiki plans a $2.5 million renovation project that will convert the budget hotel to a midrange property, according to a spokesman. The hotel, now managed by Aqua Hotels & Resorts, was last managed by Aston Hotels, which renovated the property in 2000. Custom furniture, flat-screen TVs, wireless Internet access and a new spa are part of the renovation plans. Check out www.aquaresorts.com/surf_intro.php for more information on the hotel. 

THE MAUI OCEAN CENTER will begin offering a day camp for children ages 8 to 12 from June 6 through Sept. 2. The sessions will take place Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will offer kids the chance to earn a Junior Naturalist certification. Sharks, stingrays, coral and other aquatic life are covered. The program is being touted as a great way for moms and dads to get in a round of golf while kids enjoy an educational experience. Cost is $55 per day. Theres a 10% discount for Maui Ocean Center members. Call (808) 270-7075 or visit www.mauioceancenter.com

THE MAUI VISITORS BUREAU launched its Malama Maui campaign, in hopes of drawing attention to the islands agritourism and heritage offerings. The initiative aims to promote Mauis farms, mom-and-pop eateries, family-owned businesses, churches and historic sites. For more information, visit www.visitmaui.com.

THE KAHALA MANDARIN ORIENTAL on Oahu offers its Sensational Suite and Dining package, which offers guests partial or prime oceanview accommodations, roundtrip airport transfers, all meals (including in-room dining for two) at Hokus, Plumeria Beach House, The Veranda, Cabanas Seaside Grill and Honu Bar. Rates begin at $950 per night, double. Valid through June 30, 2005. Call (800) 367-2525 or log on to www.mandarinoriental.com/kahala.

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