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Friday, September 11, 2015
Media Monopoly Grabs for Tourism Market
By News Release @ 3:06 PM :: 3439 Views :: Tourism


Portal Poised to Become Global Mega-Site for Travel to Hawaii

News Release September 11, 2015

HONOLULU – Oahu Publications, Inc., publisher of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, The Garden Island, Hawaii Tribune-Herald and West Hawaii Today newspapers, today announced the launch of the new Hawaii.com website, an Internet portal that could become a global mega-site for travel to Hawaii.

“We believe Hawaii.com will become THE online starting point for anyone in the world planning a visit to our beautiful Islands,” said Dennis Francis, Oahu Publications president. “With our advertising partners in Hawaii, across the country and around the world, Hawaii.com can literally offer any vacation package available with special discounts for visitors to the site. If you dream it, you will find it on Hawaii.com.”

One of those partners is Enterprise Holdings in Hawaii, well known for its Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental, Alamo Rent A Car and Enterprise CarShare brands, the largest car rental provider in the world. Enterprise has been integrated into Hawaii.com’s website as the lead partner in the car rental category.

“Our goal is to provide the best customer service experience in the car rental industry,” said Chris Sbarbaro, vice president of sales and marketing for Enterprise Holdings in Hawaii. “Partnering with Hawaii.com ensures that we will have the largest global outreach for anyone, anywhere considering a visit to Hawaii and looking for affordable, reliable transportation.”

Francis stressed that Hawaii.com will complement, not compete against, the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau’s (HVCB) GoHawaii.com site. 

“GoHawaii is Hawaii’s official tourism site operated by a valued partner,” Francis said. “As a commercial travel and activity booking site, we think Hawaii.com will enhance HVCB’s efforts. We both have the same goals: to ensure Hawaii remains the top visitor destination in the world.”

One thing that sets Hawaii.com apart from other global travel sites is that visitors to Hawaii.com will have access to Oahu Publications’ vast archive of rich, local content generated by its Hawaii newspapers and magazines. The thousands of features, columns, reviews, photos and videos will enable visitors to research and customize their travel to the Islands, creating authentic experiences that cater to their own unique interests.

“Travelers using Hawaii.com will gain real ‘local’ knowledge about Hawaii,” said Dave Kennedy, Oahu Publications chief revenue officer. “Hawaii.com not only offers reliable travel information about hotels, restaurants and attractions, but by accessing feature content from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, our neighbor island newspapers and our growing roster of visitor and lifestyle magazines, travelers are able to get a genuine feel for Hawaii as reported by local writers for local readers. It is a mega-insider’s guide to the Islands.”

Local Island businesses catering to visitors are finding Hawaii.com an essential part of their advertising efforts.

“Online marketing is playing an ever-increasing role in the leisure activities business and we’re very excited to be working with Hawaii.com to increase our exposure,” said John McCollum, general manager of Umauma Fall Zipline Experience on Hawaii Island. “Being a part of this unique online environment has resulted in an uptick in bookings and we look forward to delivering memorable experiences as we do our part to keep the Islands a leading visitor destination.”

Hawaii.com has consistently ranked among the top five Internet search results for “Hawaii travel,” and since March 2015 page views have grown from more than 600,000 views each month to more than a million page views in July and August. In addition, Hawaii.com’s website membership database boasts a growing membership of more than 162,000 individuals from across the United States and around the world.

Visitors to the website who register for free membership have the opportunity to earn points and win free Hawaii goodies through contests and giveaways.

Hawaii.com ownership had been split between Oahu Publications and Las Vegas-based Stephens Media, LLC. When Oahu Publications bought Stephens Media’s Hawaii assets in December 2014, OPI also acquired Stephens Media’s half-interest in Hawaii.com. That enabled OPI to redesign the website into a “one stop shop” for all things related to travel to, from and within Hawaii.

“We are delighted to relaunch Hawaii.com as Hawaii’s leading travel resource and commerce website,” Francis said. “I can think of no better way to showcase our Island paradise and share OPI’s vast information and content resources with the world, while also making it easy for visitors to plan and book Hawaii experiences for themselves.”

# # # # #

Oahu Publications, Inc., is the parent company of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Hawaii’s only statewide daily newspaper; The Garden Island, Kauai’s daily newspaper; Hawaii Tribune-Herald and West Hawaii Today, Hawaii Island’s daily newspapers and MidWeek, Oahu’s most widely distributed weekly publication. Its Magazine Division publishes HILuxury, Waikiki Magazine, 101 Things To Do, USA Today Hawaii Edition and a growing roster of community periodicals and in-room resort magazines.


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