Aston Hotels & Resorts has released the 2011 version of its highly popular Aloha Book, a collection of discounts and freebies for dining, shopping, activity and spa experiences across the state.
Available only to Aston guests, this year's book, which comes in Oahu and Neighbor Island formats, contains over $2,500 worth of savings and more than 30 new offers.
"Each year the value of the book keeps climbing because more and more people see it and realize the value of it and want to be a part of it," said Shari Chang, Aston's senior vice president of sales, marketing and revenue management. "This year we have more offerings than we've ever had before.
"[Guests] can look through the offerings for activities or shopping or golf or whatever and see that ... we've negotiated something special for them," Chang explained. "And they don't pay anything to have the book. It's just presented to them when they check in, but it really helps stretch out those vacation dollars and helps them explore the Islands a little bit more."
Helping small Hawaii businesses attract more customers is another of the collection's benefits. Aston doesn't charge vendors to include discount offers in the Aloha Book.
"We feel that there are so many wonderful activities and vendors that don't have the big marketing budgets, and we want to help promote them and support them because we want them to stay around and be active," Chang said. "This is one way that we have of helping them market themselves, and our guests get special discounts or free things they wouldn't normally get. ... And they're finding activities and stores and destinations they might not have known about otherwise."
Chang said many travel agents also use the book as a way to help close sales with clients looking to increase the value of a potential trip to the Islands.
"Our mainland salespeople say it's actually a very requested tool," she said. "A lot of agents ask to see if they can have a copy, so they can get their clients excited about all the different values in there that they can take advantage of. It makes it almost like they have some insider tips or information for [their clients] before they've even reached the Islands."