Hawaii forms millennium marketing unit


HONOLULU -- Gov. Ben Cayetano announced the formation of the Hawaii Millennium Commission (HMC), which will plan a yearlong series of celebrations and special events for 2000.

The events are designed to attract 500,000 more visitors than in 1999, he said at a press conference here.

Marketing emphasis will be placed on getting former Hawaii residents to return for a vacation in 2000, as well as attracting new and repeat visitors.

A logo and theme -- "Hawaii 2000: The Dawn of the New Millennium" -- were unveiled.

The Hawaii Millennium Commission (HMC) plans to encourage suppliers to offer discounted rates to former residents. Efforts will also be made to encourage high school and college alumni associations to hold reunions here.

Among proposed events are the following:

  • A New Year's Waikiki celebration, with Diamond Head illuminated and "a giant block party that will feature the largest luau ever."
  • A mass wedding and vow-renewal ceremony at Waikiki Beach on Valentine's Day.
  • International skydiving and scuba festivals in spring.
  • An international soccer festival in September.
  • A world music festival in November.
  • The HMC said existing annual activities, such as the Okinawan Festival (marking its 100th anniversary in 2000), the Great Aloha Run and the Honolulu Marathon will be enhanced. The HMC will issue licenses to manufacturers who want to use the Hawaii 2000 logo on merchandise.

    Cayetano is HMC honorary chairman, and the four county mayors are honorary cochairs. The commission's number is (808) 550-2000.

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