Our vacation in Costa Rica with Caravan Tours

by mailpound 2/25/2009 3:30:00 AM

My daughters and I recently went on a Caravan Tour to Costa Rica.  This tour was amazing and was well run by extremely professional, knowledgeable, pleasant and caring individuals. 

We started out our tour in San Jose, with the group meeting for the first time at night after all flights had arrived.  By dinner we had already started to find friends among the group of "strangers."  Our first full day started with a trip to Poas Volcano.  We enjoyed the scenic drive, passing coffee fields, roads lined with flowers, and a wonderful view of the valley and San Jose. It was a rainy day at Poas, but that did not "dampen" our fun.  After all, we had all come expecting to experience a Costa Rican rain.  On a quiet walk by myself I saw movement and stopped and waited.  Within minutes, a violet sabrewing hummingbird stopped and hovered a foot in front of my face.

We returned to San Jose and walked to the Gold Museum with its
Pre-Colombian Man exhibit and thousands of different examples of Pre-Colombian gold artifacts, with pieces dating from 500 BC to 1600 AD.

We left San Jose early the next morning for our trip to the Tortuguero rainforest.  On the way, we stopped in Braulio Carrillo National Park to take a tram ride through the lower level and forest canopy sighting toucans, a semiplumbeous hawk, a white-crested coquette hummingbird, a beautiful bright blue morpho butterfly, "broccoli" trees and numerous other exotic plants and trees. Our walking tour found lizards, leafcutter ants and tiny strawberry poison dart frogs.  After lunch, we continued along the scenic rural road, seeing cattle and cattle egrets. We then went to Cano Blanco and got on our boats for the trip to Tortuquero National Park.  We were greeted at our lodge with drinks and snacks and then checked into our individual jungle lodges to settle in before dinner.  Walking around our lodges and dining hall we were often greeted with excitement over another "sighting" such as an iguana or 3-toed sloth or a family of monkeys high in a tree -- a reminder that we were in the middle of a rainforest!

During our 2 days in Tortuguero we were blessed with sunny days, although through the night, the sound of rain lulled us to sleep.  We were greeted early in the morning by birds and the growl of howler monkeys. This group of monkeys spent the morning in the tree outside our lodge eating and swinging from the branches.  We enjoyed our canal cruises where we saw many lovely flowers, caymans, turtles sunning themselves on the logs, needle nosed bats sleeping in a row high up on the trees, lizards, including the Basilisk lizard and web-footed water walking lizard, and birds -- far too many to mention, but including the tiger heron, Montezuma Oropendola, Resplendent Quetzal and Great Green Macaws.  My favorite canal cruise was in the "black waters" where  black-water reflects the mirror image of exotic thick jungle on either side. We also visited the Green Turtle Research Station and a walk along the beach where the turtles nest to the town of Tortuquero.  And each time we returned from a canal cruise we were greeted again with drinks and snacks.

That evening after dinner we were entertained by a calypso band, and although everyone was determined to sit and listen, after a little encouragement everyone was up, dancing and laughing!  We ended the night back in our lodges sleeping to the nature sounds of the rainforest. The next morning after breakfast we once again boarded the boats for our final trip on the Tortuquero River back to the dock where our motorcoach was waiting to take us on our next adventure. 

On our way to our next 2 night stay at Arenal Volcano, we stopped at a banana plantation, and then after lunch, in the Selva Verde Rainforest Reserve to walk the 300 foot suspension bridge over the jungle river.  Then we drove through the beautiful San Carlos Valley to Fortuna.  Our hotel overlooked Arenal Volcano and was surrounded by beautiful gardens. The next morning greeted us with so many rufous-tailed hummingbirds, tanagers feasting on bananas and other colorful birds and flowers.  After breakfast, we headed north for the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge passing sugar cane and pineapple fields, and orange and teak plantations.  We also stopped briefly to photograph the "iguana tree" -- a low growing tree filled with orange male iguanas and many brown female iguanas enjoying the morning sun.  We cruised on the Rio Frio, seeing howler monkeys and spider monkeys, anhingas, cormorants, blue herons and more.  We cruised to the Nicaraguan border and then headed home.  Back in Fortuna we stopped for ice cream, shopped a bit and then headed to Baldi Springs Hotel & Hot Springs, where we relaxed in the numerous volcanic hot spring pools with waterfalls, gardens and water slides.

Leaving Fortuna we drove to the Puntarenas region along the Pacific Coast, stopping for a hike in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.  After another delicious lunch we continued down for a two-night stay at the all-inclusive Fiesta Doubletree Resort on Dona Ana Beach just in time to meet up on the dock, cocktail in hand, to watch the sun set on the Pacific. 

We left the next morning for Manuel Antonio, stopping on a bridge to look down at the crocodiles lounging on the riverbank.  Due to a random accident on the bridge leading to Manuel Antonio, we were unable to continue on, which was a disappointment, but entirely out of the control of Caravan.  Our tour director and driver made every effort to substitute this activity, and we entered the Carara Biological Reserve to enjoy our boxed lunches and were fortunate to have 3 scarlet macaws fly overhead.  Our group was then given the option of staying for a hike through this tropical bird and wildlife sanctuary or returning to our beautiful hotel for a relaxing afternoon of swimming, eating or enjoying cocktails by our choice of many swimming pools.

Our trip just about over, it was time for some shopping, so on the way back through the Central Valley to San Jose, we stopped in Grecia, home
of the only Metal Church in Central America, and to the colorful town of Sarchi, home of the painted oxcart and the Sarchi Oxcart factory, with shops filled with handmade artifacts including oxcarts, painted bowls and trays, natural wood serving utensils, furniture, jewelry and carvings made from the many beautiful native woods, including rosewood, teak, purple heart, and mahogany. Our next stop was at a coffee plantation and the chance to shop for those who wanted to bring home some delicious Costan Rican coffee.

We returned to San Jose for our final night. Our farewell dinner was in a lovely restaurant on the 17th floor overlooking the lights of the city - a delicious meal enjoyed with our new friends. 

We left the next day, many of us with the wish to return to Costa Rica.  The food throughout our trip was delicious and plentiful with many Costa Rican dishes.  There was always a large variety of choices to please everyone, including vegetarians, who would find a lot of meatless choices.  The fresh fruit was wonderful and I especially loved the flavor of their scrambled eggs and potato dishes.  Gallo Pinto, the national dish of fried rice and black beans, was one of my daughter's favorites, along with ceviche, a citrus-marinated seafood appetizer.

Costa Rica is a beautiful and peaceful country which has chosen to concentrate their economy and efforts to the ecology of their special land, and the education and healthcare of the people. It was very interesting to discover that there are many similarities in the issues that concern them and the U.S. 
The Costa Rican people are outgoing and friendly by nature, which added significantly to the entire travel experience.

It was a wonderful experience and we could not have expected or wanted any better treatment by our tour director and driver.  They went beyond the expected to make our trip fun and interesting.  Our personal experience was with Katia and Braulio.  So often we heard the phrase, "Well, my friends, we have a surprise for you..."  whether we were making an unexpected stop to view a two- or three-toed sloth, a family of monkeys or some other special treat.  My daughters and I do not usually take group tours, but I would highly recommend Caravan.  This tour was so well planned and relaxing, despite all the many activities throughout the day.  We were always given all the information we needed for the next day's activities.  There was never a reason to worry, either about where we were going, how we would get there, or whether we would arrive safely.  Our driver was excellent and safety was always the primary concern.

So if you are a nature lover and enjoy the outdoors, if you want a taste of all the best Costa Rica has to offer, I would definitely recommend a Caravan Tour.

 

 

Q&A from February 20th Coffee Break featuring Platinum Seminars

by mailpound 2/25/2009 3:25:00 AM
Dana McPherson, Vice President of Platinum Seminars, presented last week’s coffee break live from Buenos Aires.  He gave a great presentation on how to sell to the luxury market during these trying times.  We received some great questions, which I posted below with Dana’s answers.   If you have any additional questions please leave a comment below or e-mail Dana at dana@platinumseminars.com.  Please be sure to check out the recorded version of the webinar by clicking the link at the bottom of this page.

Q.  Can you explain a little more about the benefit of attending PLS Symposium?
A.  The Symposium is for our PLS members and runs about 2 hours.  We provide some of the best speakers in the industry at your exposure.  The speakers will inform you what is going on in the industry with their products and will allow you to ask them any questions at the end of their presentation.  Normally if you were to see them at a big show you would be one of 1500 and when they get off the stage they are done.  We provide a very intimate setting of only about 100 agents and afterwards you are able to meet them and ask any questions.  That is the benefit of attending- Platinum Seminars is all about the luxury and being intimate.


Q.  How does one become a PLS member?
A.  It is very easy to become a PLS member and does not cost a thing! To become a member please go to www.platinumseminars.com and click the tab PLS.  Once you click on the tab please just type in your e-mail address.  Once you provide your e-mail address you are done- it is really that easy! Please know that there are no membership fees and we also do not charge a membership fee for our seminars.  The rate you see on our website is what you (and your companion) will pay.  We also only need one CLIA or IATAN card per cabin, so your companion does not have to be in this industry to attend.  We also invite you to bring your companions to our PLS Symposium because it is full of good knowledge, besides being fun, no matter what field you are in.


 

Q.
    
If we sail single, what is the single supplement?
A.  Our website provides a couple of cruise lines that do offer a break on single supplements, unfortunately though we have to pay double for most of the cruise lines.  What that means is we have to pay 2 full cruise fares plus 2 port charges for a full 200%.  We apologize for this but there is nothing we can do about it.  Currently right now Royal Caribbean Celebrity is offering a slight break by only charging 1 port charge but you will still have to pay 2 full cruise fares and 1 port charge.  The rest of the cruise lines hold us to 200%.


 

Q.  Why do you not accept OSSN?
A.  This has been an ongoing question and I really cannot address it too much other than to say we only accept IATAN and CLIA cards.  The cruise lines have told us we can only accept IATAN and CLIA cards.  You are more than welcome to ask IATAN but that is all the information I have.


 

Q.
    
If I am an outside agent can I use my company’s CLIA card or do I have to have one myself?
A.  At Platinum Seminars we allow you to sign up with the CLIA certificate but in order to go on board you must have a CLIA card.  Even though we accept the CLIA certificate to sign up we recommend having a CLIA or IATAN card.  It is our credentials that make us professional agents.  If your company has a CLIA certificate I believe it is $29 or $49 to get your CLIA card so why not be a proud agent and carry that card.  If you are a brand new agent, for example you started last week, you would not need a card because you wouldn’t have one.  We would, however, need to know something is in progress.


 

Q.
    
Can you please spell the 2 hotels mentioned in the beginning of the seminar?
A.  The first hotel I mentioned is Alvear Palace and their website is www.AlvearPalace.com.  The second hotel I mentioned is The Hotel Faena and Universe and you will have to do a search for it. They are a hip, cool, funky hotel that is terribly luxurious and expensive.  I believe their pricing starts at $600 a night.  Please also note that even though they are in pesos their hotels are billed in dollars.  They are both beautiful hotels.


 

Q.
    
Can we sail as a triple?

A.  Some of the cruise lines do allow you to sometimes sail as a triple.  The Princess allows you sometimes, NCL most of the time, Regent sometimes, Royal Caribbean Celebrity no, Oceania sometimes and Windstar sometimes.  Many times we can offer that you will just have to email me to ask.  My e-mail is dana@platinumseminars.com and I promise to respond to you quickly.

 

Q.     Can you please repeat the details of the platinum seminar aboard the Navigator of the Seas? What is the cost?
A.  For those details please go to www.platinumseminars.com and click on the tab PLS.  When you click on that tab you will be provided with all the information.  The cost is $49 per agent or companion.


 

Q.     Will you have any CLIA classes on the cruises that are already on your website?
A.  That is an excellent question.  We usually offer CLIA classes about twice a year.  We bring CLIA on board for those classes and usually have about 50-60 agents to train.  Unfortunately at this time we do not have any scheduled.  It usually takes us about 6 months out to get with CLIA’s schedule because they are very busy, as you can imagine, training all over America.  Please just watch your faxes, emails, and our website to know when these will be offered.  You will see a huge banner that says CLIA as we have to differentiate it since this is the only time we offer CLIA training. 

Q.  Do you recommend the company, Destination Europe, for purchasing air that is on your website.
A.  Yes, I highly recommend them.  We actually just did a trip with them a few months ago to Iceland.  We went with a group of about 15-20 people, which also included the president of Destination Europe, the president of Platinum Seminars, and myself.  We flew business class from NY to Iceland and flying business class was very nice.  In Iceland we stayed at a beautiful Hilton and did a land package.  The land package included hotel, food, transfers, we even went four wheeling in the Tundra and did Whale Watching. That was one of the great things offered by Destination Europe.  So I can vouch for them personally and hope you check them out.  You can find the # to Destination Europe on our website.  Please note that the # on our website is not a general line but a private line for Platinum Seminars.  It is only for Platinum Seminar agents.  So please check them out, I highly recommend them.


 

Q.     Will this webinar be available to view again?
A.  Yes it has been posted on MailPound.  Please click here to view.   

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Q&A from February 13th Coffee Break featuring Mesa CVB

by mailpound 2/18/2009 3:03:00 AM

Last Friday’s Coffee Break, featured the Mesa CVB and James Tevault gave a great presentation on such topics as the best time to visit Mesa, advantages of working with the Mesa CVB, activities and sights in Mesa and much more!  We received some great questions, which I have posted below along with James’ answers. If you have any additional questions please leave a comment below or e-mail James at James@VisitMesa.Com.  And if you missed the live Coffee Break, be sure to check out the recorded version in the link found at the bottom of this page.

 

Q.     Can you give us an idea of what it will cost to stay in Mesa?
A.  In Mesa, depending on the time of year, we have 3 rate seasons.  Typically January to May is our most expensive time to visit the Mesa area or even just the Phoenix metro area as a whole.  The cost also depends on the size of the group or if it is an individual traveler.  Travel rates can range anywhere from $99 for a group and closer to $159 for an individual traveler during peak season.  Once you get into the summer months, which would be from June to August, rates can range anywhere from around $59/$69 to around $109/$119.  Once you get into our last season, which would be September to December, you are going to be right in between the first 2 rate seasons.  Just keep in mind the cost depends on the size of the group and availability.  Mesa CVB put your request in front of enough hotels so that it saves you time and work ensuring you are getting the best value for your client.

Q.     Who are some of the tour operators who operate in the Mesa area?

A.  We work with Greatline Tours and several other receptive tour operators.  I apologize that I do not have the names in front of me now but you can contact Donna Cluckey for that information. Donna is our real travel professional for the tourism market and she would be more than happy to provide you with that information.  Her email address is Donna@VisitMesa.Com.

 

Q.     Do you have a Mesa specialist training program?
A.  We do not have a Mesa specialist training program as this time.  We are partners with the Arizona Office of Tourism and we are part of the Arizona certification program.  This program is called AZAP and that information is on our tour and travel page.  If you click on there you will be able to certify for the state of Arizona, which does include Mesa information as well.

Q.     I am a sports travel agent and I am curious to know, for future reference, since the Arizona Cardinals won the NFC championship has there been a spike in tourism for sporting events over the past month or so?
A.  There has been a spike in sporting events.  We did do very well as the Cardinals were going through the playoff experience and it did give us national exposure.  Sports are a very popular market for the Mesa areas due to Mesa’s climate.  Plus Mesa has done an excellent job of working with different fields and having access to them in the city of Mesa.  We are also working on swimming areas as well.  We have even done different tournaments and other events where we partner together with ASU.  So we have a great relationship here in the community as a sports leader.  We were actually ranked as one of the top sports friendly cities when it comes to CVBs. So I would say yes, we have seen a spike in sports events and are seeing that it is one of our strong suits and are doing very well with it. 

Q.     Is Mesa a good place for convention groups?
A.  It depends upon the size of the group.  We are definitely not going to sit here and try to claim we can handle large style conventions.  We are a great city for conventions if you are looking for 200-250 peek room nights.  We have a great Marriott property that is located right next to the Mesa Convention Center and we also have 2 other properties, the Hilton and the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites, that are great hotels for the small to midsize meetings.  We can also handle the smaller trade shows here at the Mesa Convention Center, which we always do a great job with.


Q.
    
Do you provide transportation from Phoenix to the various hotels, especially for large groups?

A.  That is definitely very easy for us to do.  We have a great partnership with several transportation companies such as Enterprise car rentals and their 15 passenger vans and also Enterprise if people want to take care of their own transportation but just need a vehicle to do so.  We also work with Super Shuttle for more of the individuals and large conventions where people are coming in at different time frames.  They do a great job and they also offer a discount for Mesa CVB clients.  We also have several other partners, such as busing companies that can assist with these needs.

 

Q.     When is the best time to visit Mesa?

A.  That is a great question!  The best time to visit Mesa in regards to climate is from September to April.  You will be able to experience the cooler evenings and it is just gorgeous!  If you are looking for value, the best time to visit will be from September to mid January.  During that time you will get the most decent rates. There are also some great rates available in April.  Throughout the whole Phoenix area, you are going to pay a bit more once you get into the middle of January through March. We usually have a lot going on during that time and it is in high demand.

Q.     Do you have house, condo or townhouse accommodations? 
A.  There are several of these available in Mesa.  Currently, we do not work with them from a Mesa CVB standpoint but we would be more than happy to put you in contact with them.  We just would not be able to assist with the overall planning of it.

Q.     What long stays are available for us snowbirds?
A.  The rentals are probably going to be the most economical.  There are a lot of rentals available during this time.  We do have a couple of extended stay properties that are out here, from the Residence Inn to the Extended Stay America, but you are probably going to be better off renting a townhouse or condo.   

Q.     Where can I view this presentation?
A.  We have posted in on MailPound. Please click here to view it. 

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Thank you for making our 1st Valentine's Day one we will never forget

by mailpound 2/16/2009 6:17:00 AM

Happy Monday everyone,

 

I hope everyone had a great Valentine’s Day! I just wanted to say thank you again for all your great ideas and suggestions for my husband and I.  I was overwhelmed by the great responses and enjoyed sharing the ideas with my husband. Thanks to all your great ideas we had a perfect first Valentine’s Day I will never forget.

 


 

For Valentine’s Day we made reservations at a nice local restaurant and enjoyed some time out on the town.  We then went home and enjoyed a nice movie and snuggled with some wine.  As a Valentine’s gift we are planning on going to Disney World sometime between November and December.  My husband, Shayne, is in the Air Force and Disney is having a great military offer for 2009.  It is such a great deal we just cannot pass it up!

 

I just want to say thank you again for giving us a perfect 1st Valentine’s Day as husband and wife.

 

Thanks!

 

Sheona and Shayne Miller

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Midnight Marketing Focus Group onboard HAL's Westerdam

by Patti 2/13/2009 5:08:00 AM

MailPound recently completed their first Focus Group at sea onboard Holland America’s Westerdam.  Over 40 travel agents joined Bob and Debbie on the Jazz Cruise’s inaugural Playboy Jazz Cruise sailing from Ft. Lauderdale.  Agents were given the unique opportunity to experience a full charter cruise while learning about MailPound’s newest marketing tool, Midnight Marketing.  Agents participated in a two-day focus group.

During the first session, Debbie gave the agents an overview of MailPound’s marketing products, including custom eBrochures, eFlyers and Ready to Go Promotions.  She discussed strategies for utilizing MailPound’s marketing tools to increase agency revenues and maintain strong client relationships.

Bob Maier followed with an introduction to Midnight Marketing.   The system is designed for agents who ‘know’ their client and enables them to send personalized, customized and targeted emails to their client list.  After an overview of CMS (Client Marketing System), Bob described how MailPound will send an ‘opt in’ letter on behalf of travel agents to their client list requesting their ‘interests’ and desired email frequency.  The system will be web-based with full data encryption ensuring the highest level of data security. 

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MailPound

Q&A from January 30th Coffee Break featuring HVCB

by mailpound 2/4/2009 4:22:00 AM
Thank you to everyone that attended last Friday’s coffee break on January 30th, featuring Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.  Dan Gomez gave an informative presentation and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.  We received many great questions and you can find the answers to them below.  If you have any additional questions, please leave a comment below or e-mail me at smiller@mailpound.com. You can also visit gohawaii.com or agents.gohawaii.com for more information.  



Q.  I have a family who is planning a trip to Oahu in June 2009.  They would like to stay in the Turtle Bay area- are there any good deals or promotions available in May to late June?
A.The best place to look for that information would be on our consumer site gohawaii.com and contact a supplier directly.  We do not have too much detailed information on supplier offers on our agent site, agents.gohawaii.com.  Our agent site is more for the sales and marketing toolbox.  You will notice that on any page of the agent site there is a link to our consumer site gohawaii.com. You can click on that link and do a search for Turtle Bay Resorts and go to their site.  You will find the travel trade section on their site that will provide you with the best rates.  You might also consider going to one of the wholesale partners you work with and see what kind of rates they offer.  We have a list of wholesale providers on our site.  Just click on “wholesaler partners” to see a list of the providers we work with.  Each provider listed is a clickable link that will take you directly to their site.



Q. 
Do you have to retake the Ke Kula O Hawaii test each year?
A. 
No you do not.  Once you take the course you are a graduate for life.  If you haven’t taken it since June 2006 we suggest going back and taking a look at the new information.  We have revised the course work since then and are revising it again now.  So it is good to go back once and awhile to see what is new, however it is not required.



Q. 
How long do you have for completing the training for the Hawaii Specialist?
A. 
You can take as long as you need.  You can take a couple weeks or even a couple months if you need to.  There is nothing that is going to track your progress along the way.  It is up to you to read the materials as you find time and at the end you will take the final exam.  During the final exam you will be limited to 20 minutes to answer the 20 questions.  That is the only time restriction.  Also, so you are aware, somewhere in the course work there is a password that you need to have in order to access the final exam.  It was built in to keep people from skipping the course work and going straight to the exam.  So you will need to read through the course work in order to find the special password to access the final exam.



Q. 
What criteria is needed in using the picture images?
A. 
On the site agents.gohawaii.com you will see “Marketing Toolbox” in the left toolbar.  Click on that and agree to some usage rights.  A page will come up that with the terms and conditions.  On that page you will click images down at the bottom and select “I agree.”  Next you will be brought to a page where you will be able to view over 900 of our images.  You can sort them by different categories on the left, such as activities or people.  You can also do a keyword search on top of the page to find a particular item.  Next, select the image(s) you want and add it to your collection basket, just as if you were shopping online.  You will then go to the collection basket to retrieve your items/images when you are done.  It will explain all the restrictions required for you to use the image.  Basically, all we ask is that somewhere in the caption you write HVCB and the photographer’s name.



Q. 
We are planning a Hawaii night in February.  Do you offer any door prizes or giveaways we can order?
A. 
We do have things available but mostly in the form of print and educational materials.  We do have a great 10 minute video you can show either before, during or after your Hawaii night event.  If you would like to order any of these materials please go to agents.gohawaii.com and click on the “sales tools materials” section.  There will be an order form you can use to order the materials you would like.  As far as amenities our budget is somewhat limited on that.  If it is something you really need you can try contacting us at hds@hvcb.org.



Q. 
I have a family who wants to go to Hawaii.  They have been there before and want to stay at a certain hotel.  I could not locate the hotel on my normal site.  Is there a site on gohawaii.com that allows us to search for a particular hotel?
A. 
The best way to find that particular hotel would be to go to our consumer site gohawaii.com and do a search for what part of the words you know.  You can also do a search by the island if you know what island it is on.  You will then be able to choose where to stay and it will provide you a listing of all the accommodations on that island by type, for example all bed and breakfasts or all the vacation rentals.  You can also sort by hotels and resorts.



Q. 
How do you sign up for leads?
A. 
On our consumer site, gohawaii.com, there are a few places where the consumer can request more information about Hawaii or request materials.  When they do that they will be brought to a page that will ask them for their name and address.  Based their zip code, we will provide them with 2-3 Hawaii specialists in their area.  In order to be apart of that listing all you have to do is go to agents.gohawaii.com, take the Ke Kula O Hawaii course and successfully complete the exam.  Once you complete the exam we will automatically integrate you into that list of referred agents



Q. 
Are there any plans to add videos that we can refer to our clients to via Internet rather than via DVD?
A. 
Oh yes! We actually already have them, and in fact we just received an award for it yesterday.  You will notice at the top of the site, gohawaii.com, there is a banner that says “Stories of Hawaii.” If you click on this you will be able to view the videos and you are even able to save the links to embed them on your website or to save them to your computer.  They are really great videos! They are short, 3 minute videos that talk about what to do on the islands from a local perspective.  We urge you to take a look at these and to start using them for your Hawaii marketing.



Q. 
Is tourism down in Hawaii? I went to book my clients to a hotel and was surprised to find it booked.
A. 
It varies depending on the property, the island and the time of year.  New Years was pretty busy for us and we also have a Media Convention that comes in and takes up a lot of room.  If you look at the business economic development tourism numbers for Hawaii you will see that our visitor’s arrivals are down but it is not a dramatic amount like what we saw in 2001 post 9/11. 



Q. 
Are there any FAM trips available to Hawaii?
A.  Thanks for that great question.  This is what Mahalo month is for.  If you go to agents.gohawaii.com and sign in or create a profile, you will see a banner that says “Discover the Sights…” Click on that and you will then see a press release that will talk about Mahalo month and will take you to the website mahalomonth.com.  There you can register to get some fantastic deals to come to Hawaii.  They provide deals from your rooms to your activities and as you all know air to Hawaii is going down everyday.  Basically a mini FAM trip!



Q.
    
Where can I view this presentation?
A.  It has been recorded and posted on MailPound.  To view please click here.

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