HONOLULU -- The Oahu Visitors Bureau started an invitation-only
Oahu Travel Specialist Program that includes course work, a visit
to Oahu and continuing financial aid to help agents sell the
The bureau is working with Hawaii wholesalers to identify agents
who have shown they have potential to sell Oahu.
To get into the program, agents must be selected by a Hawaii
The first phase of the program, called How to Sell Oahu, is a
home-study course with tests comprising essays and quizzes.
After completing the course, agents will be invited to Oahu for
a six-day sales training trip, which does not include any hotel
To attend the program, however, agents will have to pay upwards
of $125 to help out with air fare.
"The agent market is really hungry for this kind of training on a
destination level," said Stacey Martin, director of travel industry
sales for the OVB.
"The on-island part of the program is really the key," said
Martin. "There are selling seminars and a tour of the island that
integrates the knowledge they gained in the seminars."
Continuing financial and material aid to market the island is
offered after agents complete both training phases.
"If a travel agency wants to get into the honeymoon market, we
will give them the financial aid to put on a bridal show," said
Martin. "We're not just a visitors bureau that gives them a
certificate and piece of paper. We are committed to helping agents
Agents also will receive videos, maps, brochures, posters and
decorations for booths at shows or conventions.
Two on-island seminars are scheduled for the fall, but dates
have not been set.
This year, Martin said, the bureau plans to have more than 140
agents participate in the program.
It anticipates participation by 700 agents next year, she
Martin said agents who complete training offered by the Hawaii
Visitors & Convention Bureau will be invited to the Oahu sales
The visit to Oahu offers opportunities to learn about culture,
history, attractions, restaurants, shopping and entertainment.
Agents who become Oahu specialists can earn credits toward
becoming a certified travel counselor.
Oahu Visitors Bureau
Phone: (808) 524-0722