The Waikiki Improvement Association released the results of a commissioned "economic and social impact study" regarding what Chinese and Korean visitors think of Waikiki on March 22. A great deal of the reaction presented in the study was positive, but the most consistent complaint involved a lack of nighttime entertainment in Waikiki itself.
"The most important thing from this research is that tourists from both China and Korea say they feel Hawaii is a unique and desirable place to visit and that they would recommend us to their friends back home," said Rick Egged, president of the Waikiki Improvement Association, in the organization's March 18-24 newsletter. "The respondents, like most visitors, especially enjoyed Waikiki's weather, beaches and beauty, as well as the shopping experience and overall safe environment found in the islands. Most of them also enjoyed Hawaii's unique culture and historical sites such as Iolani Palace."
Conducted by the Honolulu-based company SMS Research and Marketing Service in February and March, the study involved interviews with Chinese and Korean visitors and travel agents as well as local tourism officials. A majority of those questioned "said that for them to return, Waikiki would have to add more entertainment, especially for the evening time since Waikiki has no theaters and very few live shows."
A pair of recent attempts to introduce high-energy, larger-scale stage shows to Waikiki failed in 2009. The Royal Hawaiian Center's 750-seat showroom hosted the short-lived "Waikiki Nei" and "Heartbeat Hawaii" productions and saw them both fold after very brief runs produced dismal ticket sales.