The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) announced the official launch of its revamped travel agent website and Hawaii Destination Specialist online training program Feb. 2.

The overhauled site features a range of new and enhanced tools, including downloadable marketing templates, posters and maps; an audio dictionary to help with the pronunciation of Hawaiian words; an activities and attractions directory; a festival and events calendar; and a media center with new photos and videos.

The Hawaiian Destination Specialist online training program, or Ke Kula O Hawaii, has also been refreshed and streamlined, consisting currently of two modules: Introduction to Hawaii and Selling the Hawaiian Islands. The two programs, which can now be accessed on tablets or a smartphone, offer “valuable insider tips, audio narration and a resume tool, making the program simpler to use,” according to HVCB officials.

“As travel professionals are an extremely valued part of our effort to educate and bring visitors to the Hawaiian Islands, HVCB is dedicated to supporting this important extension of our sales team,” Karen Hughes, the HVCB’s vice president of Meet Hawaii and travel industry partnerships, said in a statement. “Our new resource center and Hawaii Destination Specialist Program provides unparalleled resources 24/7, recognizing that today’s travel professionals conduct business in and out of the office.”

Travel agents who successfully complete the Introduction to Hawaii and Selling the Hawaiian Islands modules will earn the Hawaii Destination Specialist designation and gain access to exclusive benefits such as special webinars.

HVCB officials plan to release a second component of the online training later this year that will focus on each of the six visitor-friendly Hawaiian Islands. Those who complete the coming six individual island-focused modules will graduate as Hawaii Destination Experts and qualify for further benefits, including access to self-guided familiarization trips.

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