Destinations

Hawaii: Magnum’s opus


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A popular misconception about Hawaii is that it’s just one island. In fact there are 132 of them. Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean – equidistant from Japan and the US – it’s the most isolated archipelago in the world. Each of the six main islands has pleasant year-round temperatures, sandy beaches, lush greenery, tropical rainforests, golf courses and clear waters, making them popular with divers, golfers, honeymooners and families alike.


As flight connections increase, clients can choose to fly via Asia or the US, and popular stopovers include New York, Vancouver, Chicago and increasingly Japan or Seoul. And it seems they are chosing to do so in increasing numbers, partly thanks to the buzz generated by hit US drama Lost – filmed on Oahu.


Hawaiian Dream marketing manager Tim Macdonald said demand through the trade has been very strong.


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“We’ve had to reprint our Hawaii brochure for the first time this year as it flew off the shelves,” he said. “Hawaii sells well as a twin-centre holiday and our most popular combination is skiing in Whistler and a week in Hawaii.”


“With so many options to choose from, agents should ask clients what they want to see and do to ensure the right combination of stopovers and islands.”


It’s not just on land where the islands score big: Norwegian Cruise Line will increase its presence around the 50th state with its third ship there next year. Pride of Hawaii will cruise throughout 2006 with its first departure on June 25. The 10-day itinerary ex-Honolulu itinerary calls at Hilo, Kahului, Kona and Nawiliwili.


To help agents sort their Oahus from their alohas, the Hawaiian Tourist Board has launched an online training academy with Travel Weekly, with everything you need to know to sell the destination.


Swot up by logging on to www.travelweekly.co.uk. And in the meantime, here’s a quick round-up.


The Big Island


Key selling points: as the name suggests, it’s the biggest island and has miles of sandy beaches, glowing lava plains, quality hotels and the world’s tallest mountain from sea level, Mauna Kea. Must dos include Volcanoes National Park, swimming with dolphins and a visit to the coffee plantations.
Best suited to: adventure travellers, families and couples.
Fly to: Kona or Hilo via the US.
Sample product: Travel 4 offers 10 nights from £958 per person twin-share including flights, transfers, seven nights’ three-star room-only accommodation in Hawaii and a three-night stopover in San Francisco in January.


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Maui


Key selling points: white sandy and volcanic black beaches, natural spas, cascading waterfalls and bamboo forests. It also has the world’s largest dormant volcano crater, rare tropical birds and festivals dedicated to art, classical performances and jazz.
Best suited to: couples, sun worshippers, honeymooners and adventure travellers.
Fly to: Kahului via the US.
Sample product: Hawaiian Dream has a 14-night Maui package from £1,245 per person twin-share including flights, transfers, two nights in Honolulu, 10 nights in Maui and two nights in San Francisco in three-star room-only accommodation in January.


Lanai


Key selling points: With a population of just 3,000, Lanai is the perfect place for relaxation with no crowds or traffic. Those wanting to get around can take a 4WD excursion, dive at Hulopoe Bay, watch free cooking demonstrations or visit old fishing villages.
Best suited to: couples, divers and honeymooners.
Fly to: Honolulu via the US or Asia and transfer to a domestic flight.
Sample product: North America Travel Service offers nine nights from £1,934 per person twin-share including flights, transfers, two nights in Honolulu and seven in Lanai, staying in five-star bed-and-breakfast accommodation in January.


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Molokai


Key selling points: with dense forests and the world’s highest sea cliffs, Molokai is great for hikers and cyclists. Kalaupapa National Historical Park is a must, as is learning the art of hula dancing.
Best suited to: hikers, independent travellers and families.
Fly to: Honolulu via the US or Asia and transfer to a domestic flight.
Sample product: Transpacific Holidays offers seven nights from £1,229 per person twin-share including flights, transfers and
three-star room-only accommodation in February.


Oahu


Key selling points: excellent dining and nightlife in Waikiki, diving at Hanauma Bay and skydiving at Mokuleia. Play golf on one of 40 courses or take the children to the waterslides at Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park.
Best suited to: young couples, families, divers, golfers and adventure seekers.
Fly to: Honolulu via the US or Asia.
Sample product: Virgin Holidays has 14 nights from £1,409 per person twin-share including flights, transfers and four-star
room-only accommodation in January.


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Kauai


Key selling points: tropical and wild, this island has cascading waterfalls, green mountains and rainforests only accessible by helicopter. Visit the Kauai Children’s Discovery Museum, mountain bike down to Waimea Canyon or walk through the forests of Kokee State Park.
Best suited to: adventure seekers, families and the eco-friendly.
Fly to: Lihue via the US.
Sample product: Transpacific Holidays offers 10 nights from £895 per person twin-share including flights, transfers and two-star room-only accommodation in April.

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