HONOLULU -- The Hawaii Tourism Authority will invest $55,000 over
the next six months to develop a plan to make Hawaii a premier
health and wellness destination.
The state already draws visitors seeking a place to rest and
rejuvenate with spa treatments and outdoor activities.
But industry leaders hope to add significant components, such as
education in disease prevention and insight into traditional
healing practices, in an effort to welcome travelers who want more
than the typical vacation.
"The mission is to cultivate strategies for health tourism that
bring Hawaii to the forefront of this unique industry," said Dr.
Ira Zunin, a Honolulu physician.
Zunin is creating a business plan to "make certain there's a
match between what we're marketing and our infrastructure,"
according to Muriel Anderson, who guides product development for
the tourism authority.
Hawaii's leaders hope to capitalize on the strengths of the
islands. These include the relative ease and safety they offer
travelers as part of the U.S. along with their strong cultural ties
to Asia and the Pacific.
Dr. Ed Cadman, dean of the John A. Burns School of Medicine at
the University of Hawaii, foresees medical students, residents and
faculty speaking at hotels about disease prevention and
complementary and alternative medicine.