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Hawaii Continues Sales Efforts for China Meetings Business at 2010 IT&CM Convention in Shanghai, April 7-9

Honolulu, HI
Monday, March 29, 2010

With the goal of capitalizing on China's growth in business travel, a team of Hawaii sales professionals will be in Shanghai, April 7-9, to sell the state's meetings industry at the Incentive Travel & Conventions Meetings China (IT&CM) travel show.

Sales professionals representing the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB), Hawaii Convention Center, and Hawaii Tourism China will be promoting the attributes and affordability of the Islands of Hawaii to a burgeoning market that now ranks third worldwide behind the United Kingdom and United States for business travel.

"Chinese visitors have become Hawaii's highest daily spenders and recent bookings show that outbound travel from this growing market is picking up again following the decline in 2009 due to H1N1," said Mike McCartney, president and CEO, Hawaii Tourism Authority. "It's a good time for HVCB to be in this market keeping Hawaii top of mind as an ideal business travel destination."

Michael Murray, CMP, CMM, CASE, vice president of sales and marketing for HVCB's corporate meetings and incentives division, has spent the past several years selling Hawaii as a meetings destination and cultivating client relationships at major business trade shows in China and Asia.

"Asia as a whole, and China in particular, is a growing market that continues to ripen for development of new business meeting opportunities for Hawaii," said Murray. "Our location and the comfort of our longstanding ties to the cultures and people of Asia create a natural appeal, but planners and groups serving this region also recognize the efforts that have been taken to make Hawaii more affordable and accessible to host business meetings."

Along with meeting attendees at IT&CM's tradeshow, Murray has 40 confirmed appointments scheduled with potential clients and will also be making a presentation about the benefits of Hawaii's meetings industry to 35 international media attending the convention.

Held at the ShanghaiMart Expo, IT&CM is expected to attract 2,000 international meetings industry professionals, mostly from China and other countries throughout Asia.

In the past year, HVCB has introduced several key initiatives to help generate new meetings business from Asia. Recently HVCB launched special incentive programs for groups based in Japan and Korea to book Hawaii. In addition, HVCB introduced translated versions of its cost-saving Added Value Resource Center, as well as its meeting planner guide, online at BusinessAloha.com for groups in Japan, China, Taiwan, and Korea.

HVCB is contracted by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the state of Hawaii's tourism agency, to provide marketing management services for the conventions, meetings and incentives market segment. HTA was established in 1998 to ensure a successful visitor industry well into the future. Its mission is to strategically manage Hawaii tourism in a sustainable manner consistent with the state of Hawaii's economic goals, cultural values, preservation of natural resources, community desires, and visitor industry needs.

-pau-

Statewide Meetings Contact:
Michael Murray, CMP, CMM, CASE
Vice President, Sales and Marketing, CMI Division   
Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau
mmurray@hvcb.org
(808) 924-0253

Patrick Dugan
Senior Vice President
McNeil Wilson Communications
Patrick.Dugan@MWC-Anthology.com
(808) 539-3411

For information about hosting corporate meetings and incentives in Hawaii, visit HVCB's website at www.businessaloha.com or call 1-888-424-2924.

Hawaii Convention Center Contact:
Neil Mullanaphy
Executive Director, Sales and Marketing
The Hawaii Convention Center
nmullanaphy@hccsmg.com
(703) 647-7410

Teddi Anderson
President
The Limtiaco Company
TeddiA@TheLimtiacoCompany.com
(808) 535-9099, ext. 103

For more information about the Hawaii Convention Center, visit www.hawaiiconvention.com or call (808) 943-3500. For additional information about SMG, visit www.smgworld.com.