Revamped Hawaii.com unveiled

Hawaii.com, the premier Internet travel portal and one of the most comprehensive web sites on travel information to Hawaii, has officially launched its new site.
(Left - The new Hawaii.com was introduced at a luncheon at the Halekulani hotel.)   
Hawaii.com
is a partnership formed in January 2002 between Gannett Co. Inc. and Stephens Media Group. The web site is considered a major new force in generating travel and tourism business to the islands due to the ability of the owners` worldwide media companies to drive millions of visitors to the site. Six million unique visitors are expected to use the site during the first year alone. Hawaii.com research shows that 80% of visitors to Hawaii use the Internet for pre-planning their vacation.
   
“I am confident that Hawaii.com will become an invaluable resource for travel to Hawaii by making it easier for people all over the world to plan their visits here,” said Hawaii Governor Ben Cayetano. “This will provide a significant and immediate boost to Hawaii`s economy.”
   
The new Hawaii.com site was launched at a news conference in the Governor`s office, with Rhett Long, president and CEO of Hawaii.com, and Mike Fisch, president and publisher of The Honolulu Advertiser.
   
The site`s Mission Statement, “If it`s in Hawaii, it`s on Hawaii.com,” speaks to its extensive content, over 1700 pages to date including: Hawaii`s history, culture, and natural beauty; guides on each of the major islands; in addition to sections on travel, transportation, accommodations, activities, entertainment, events, golf, weddings/honeymoons, spas, attractions, conventions/meetings, and shopping.
For those looking to move to Hawaii, buy a new home, or find a new job, Hawaii.com plans to add real estate and employment sections, integrating these elements with their Hawaii newspaper partners. Hawaii.com will offer complete booking capabilities enabling visitors to book their entire Hawaiian vacation, from airline tickets and hotel rooms to tee times and activities, all online.
   
The site will target the Mainland with an estimated $4.2 million advertising campaign in more than 40 markets. Major sponsors include Outrigger Hotels & Resorts and Hawaiian Airlines, which will have prime advertising locations on the Web site, said Rhett Long, president and chief executive of Hawaii.com.
Fortifying Hawaii.com`s presence in the travel destination market are its premier travel partners. “We are very excited about our partnership with the travel and hospitality leaders in Hawaii,” said Rhett Long, president of Hawaii.com. “Hawaii is, undisputedly, one of the top travel destinations in the world. The role of Hawaii.com will be to make the Hawaiian Islands even more competitive by utilizing Internet technology to drive increased activity and visitors to the islands. Hawaii.com is Hawaii`s new link for travel, hospitality and retail.”
   
The original Hawaii.com was launched two years ago by Donrey Media before it changed its name to Stephens. The site received about 2 million hits annually, Long said.


“The difference between the old Hawaii.com and the new Hawaii.com is that Hawaii.com is now really focused on being a travel portal for those individuals who are interested in coming to Hawai`i,” Fisch said. “Before, it had that mission but didn`t quite execute it as well as it could. Now it`s designed to be more interactive, in that you can book flights, you can book rooms, you can book activities for your trip to Hawai`i. Before you could find out information but couldn`t do your booking through the various partners that we have.”
   

Gov. Ben Cayetano helped launch the Web site and signed a proclamation declaring yesterday “Hawaii.com Day.” “This announcement of Hawaii. com is something that we all will welcome,” Cayetano said.


In the next phase of development, Hawaii.com is looking to expand its family of partners to include companies that service the Asia market.
 
Related stories on ITN:

(04/01/2002) Gannett Launches Hawaii.com Travel Site

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