I recommend Kauai to many of our clients who have already been to
Oahu and Maui and who tell us they want to see something else in
Hawaii," says Shelli Yerion, travel consultant for Petaluma
Yerion says that while Kauai appeals to a variety of clients, to
be successful in selling the destination, you have to sell it
differently to each type of client.
"I tell honeymooners about the beautiful waterfront hotels where
you can sit out on the patio and have complete privacy, and I tell
families about the beautiful nature that the kids will enjoy."
Older clients appreciate the relaxing pace of Kauai, says
Yerion, and the fact that "you're not going to see a lot of thong
bikinis on the beaches there."
Another point in its favor is that Kauai offers a good selection
of smaller, Hawaiian-style hotels and inns for clients who prefer
something other than the typical large resort property.
"Although there are now large hotels there, when I speak to
clients about accommodations, I always remember the description of
Kauai's hotels and other buildings from the days when I worked at
Creative Leisure -- 'nothing taller than a coconut-palm tree.'
In selling Kauai, says Yerion, you must first and foremost
educate yourself by traveling there as often as you can, and by
reading all the articles in the travel publications and travel
"It's also very important to study maps so you know locations of
places when you talk to clients," she says.
"You should also network with people who have been there
recently and who can give you tips on beaches, hotels and
restaurants, and don't be afraid to refer to someone else in your
office if you're not sure of information. We have specialists in
our agency for cruises, the Caribbean, Hawaii, etc., so you
shouldn't hesitate to take advantage of their expertise."
In addition, Yerion recommends that agents research all the good
deals on hotels and activities that are widely available on
She says that United's start-up of service from the West Coast
to Kauai in June should give agents' sales to the island a big
"The fact that I and the other agents have been to Kauai many
times is a big factor in our success in selling the destination,"
says Rita Jasso, travel consultant for Davisville Travel in Davis,
Jasso strongly advises agents who are serious about selling the
destination to take advantage of all the excellent agent education
opportunities available to travel professionals.
"Most of our leisure agents have taken the HVCB's Focus on
Hawaii educational seminars, and I am currently taking a class
through Travel Age West," she says.
"I also signed up for the Travel Weekly Poipu Beach seminars in
print and already got the first two lessons which I found to be
really informative. Right after that I received a useful Kauai
To sell Kauai, you have to make clear to the client what makes
it special, Jasso says. "I tell them about the lush greenery, the
outdoor activities and the beautiful beaches, especially in the
Poipu Beach area."
Kauai is a great place for clients who are looking for a
destination that is laid-back and has more of the atmosphere of Old
Hawaii than Oahu and Maui, she says. It's also a terrific place to
recommend to golfers.
Since Kauai offers a good selection of vacation condos, it's
also a place to recommend to clients who might prefer this type of
Although Jasso sells Kauai to variety of travelers, she doesn't
recommend it to young people who are looking for lots of
It's perfect for couples and other travelers who appreciate the
privacy and uncrowded surroundings that are widely available on