Main island hopes new products will boost numbers

HONOLULU -- New products are seen as another way for Oahu to attract more visitors, especially the repeat market.

The need for fresh attractions is an argument heard often, and the island recently has seen a sprinkling of new arrivals.

In late January, the USS Battleship Missouri Memorial opened at Pearl Harbor, Oahu's first major new attraction in years. The battleship, which saw action from World War II to the Gulf War, is doing well, attracting 1,500 to 2,000 visitors a day, according to Darrell Metzger, president of Atlantis Adventures, which provides sales and marketing for the museum.

Atlantis recently came out with a $29 Missouri package, which is made up of Waikiki transfers, admission and a guided tour of the ship, including a section that is undergoing renovation and is not yet open to the general public.

Sea Life Park added two $99 programs on April 1. The programs allow visitors to interact with marine life.

In the Seawalker package, visitors wearing special helmets and breathing apparatus walk on the bottom of the park's 300,000-gallon aquarium. In the other program, they swim with dolphins.

Last year, Waimea Valley Adventure Park added Jungle Trek, an interactive play area for children; a butterfly exhibit, and Camp Waimea, with packages for overnight camping from March through September.

At Kapolei in west Oahu, the $14 million Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park, one of the world's largest family-oriented water theme parks, will open in late May. Late last year, Castle & Cooke's Waialua Coffee plantation opened a visitor center on Waialua's north shore.

A year ago, the company's Dole Plantation, in central Oahu, opened a 100,000-square foot maze, featured in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's longest and largest permanent maze. Also late last year, a children's museum -- the $12 million Hawaii Children's Discovery Center -- opened at Honolulu's oceanfront Kakaako State Park.

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