The kicked off the third edition of Camp Aloha in Hong Kong, Wuhan and Shanghai this week with its biggest-ever trade delegation and agent participation, bringing together 350 buyers and 18 sellers in over 1,000 one-to-one business meetings.
This year, Hawaii Tourism China invited buyers from 16 different Chinese cities, including 11 fast-growing “new” destinations. Buyers from Xi’an, Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing and Beijing were invited to Wuhan, whereas the Shanghai session catered to agents from Hangzhou, Suzhou, Ningbo, Shaoxing, Wuxi and Nanjing.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority also invited 40 agents from from Shenzhen and Guangzhou to join the mission in Hong Kong on April 16, a move that according to Hawaii Tourism China’s managing director Reene Ho-Phang, would strengthen the Hong Kong outpost – which started two years ago – through the creation of more events.
She said: “Our Chinese partners love coming to Hong Kong. Instead of going to the Southern China cities, we utilise it as a stop. We want to strengthen this stop while showing our commitment to Hong Kong.”
First-time attendee Umauma Falls Zipline & Rappel Experience’s president, David Gross, said he hoped to establish a network and build product awareness during this sales mission.
Gross shared: “We started the business in 2011 and (want to attract) FITs, groups and DMCs. To incentivise more Chinese buyers, we are offering a 20 per cent commission for direct bookings.”
Guangzhou-based Guangdong Panda International Tourist, manager for America department, Charles Zhang, told TTG Asia: “Hawaii is mainly a destination for family and business travellers. The challenge is to sell (Hawaii) in the absence of direct flights, as we have to fly via Hong Kong.”
Ho-Phang added: “To incentivise the trade to sell Hawaii, we work with lifestyle brands like Chow Tai Fook Jewellery and bring in luxury agents to create luxury products. It’s about combining resources with the travel industry (through the) sharing of resources and campaign ideas. We’ve (also held) two more travel trade fams (that revolved around themed experiences) i.e. ecotourism this year.”