1. CULTURAL TOURISM
As island residents perpetuate Hawaii’s heritage, visitors are finding it easier than ever to
dig into the culture themselves.
“There has been a shift in focus to more personal fulfillment through travel,” said
Robyn Basso, senior director of travel industry partnerships for Hawaii Tourism United
States. “There’s no better way to achieve that than through pursuing deeper connections
with the people and customs of the destination.”
Clients seeking meaningful cultural activities can try HOLOKINO HAWAII, an Oahu
sailing adventure patterned after traditional, non-instrument navigation. Or, they can
check out MAUI SURF LESSONS, which teaches guests the art of canoe surfing, a centuries-
old sport with modern appeal.
Resorts are opening new cultural doors, as well. During PRINCE WAIKIKI’S Prince
Connects series, local artists and leaders discuss ideas, stories and experiences with
guests. HYATT CENTRIC WAIKIKI BEACH demonstrates how to harvest taro and pound
poi, and THE WESTIN NANEA OCEAN VILLAS, KAANAPALI now hosts one-hour cultural
presentations relevant to Maui.
As exotic destinations vie for your clients’ attention, it might be tempting to overlook Hawaii.
But we suggest you don’t. The Aloha State is monitoring and responding to the pulse of the
global tourism industry to stay fresh and vital for a universe of travelers.
For 2018, Hawaii officials are particularly tracking the following five trends, and travel
agents can benefit by doing the same. 2. TOURIST-AVERSION TRAVEL
Millennial travelers are eager to establish
a heartfelt relationship with the local
community through highly curated,
genuine experiences, Basso notes.
“Unlike the generations before them who
enjoyed group activities led by tour guides,
millennials prefer a custom itinerary that
offers exclusive opportunities,” she said.
Clients who wish to avoid more standard
attractions and tours might want to head
to Molokai. There, HALAWA VALLEY
FALLS CULTURAL HIKE presents authentic,
immersive hikes with guides who were born
and raised in the area, which few tourists
see. Visitors also can explore the mellow
island courtesy of MOLOKAI BICYCLE, which
supplies various types of two-wheelers for
sightseeing on- and off-road.
Among hotels that are honoring the
tourist-aversion trend is FOUR SEASONS
RESORT OAHU AT KO OLINA. The luxury
property recently started leading guests on
a spiritual sunrise walk to remote Kaena
Point, the westernmost tip of the island and
home to a colony of Laysan albatross.
Around the islands, new programs and activities have
particular appeal to five burgeoning markets
BY MARTY WENTZEL
FIVE KEY TRENDS FOR
Maui Surf Lessons teaches
the centuries-old sport
of canoe surfing.
During Andaz Maui’s Soar
and Savor program, guests
take a cooking class and visit
a remote spot in Hana.
Four Seasons Oahu’s hike to remote Kaena Point goes off the beaten track.