Hawaii Hospitality - July/August 2013 - (Page 15)

TALK STORYwith George Szigeti Hats Off to the Charity Walk Aloha Kakou, I wanted to begin by congratulating all of the folks made sure the governor’s remarks were widely publicized involved in the amazingly successful Visitor Industry Charity across the country. Walk (VICW) that raised a record-breaking $1,671,436. (See On the subject of meetings, we were pleased to see the News Briefs, page 17.) National Conference of State Liquor Administrators hold its Hats off to our Charity Walk chairwoman Julie Arigo, annual get-together at the Sheraton Waikiki June 24-28. Big general manager of Waikiki Parc Hotel, and to the 14,736 mahalo to Anna Harai of the Honolulu Liquor Commission for walkers who participated statewide. We especially want to her hard work in helping to bring this convention to Hawaii. recognize Maui’s sterling effort, which by itself contributed I’m excited about the third annual Food & Wine Festival significantly to the annual fundraiser. slated for Sept. 1-9. This year’s festival is expected to be bigger The beneficiaries of this outpouring of generosity are the and better than ever, debuting on Maui for the first time at the thousands of Hawaii residents served by hundreds of local Hyatt Regency Maui and continuing on Oahu at The Modern charities that will receive funding from the walk. Since its Honolulu, Halekulani, Hyatt Regency Waikiki, Hawaii inception in 1979, the VICW has now raised $26.3 million for Convention Center and Ko Olina Resort. Hawaii’s charities. Mahalo again to all involved! We were delighted to see NBC’s “Today Show” settle in Waikiki for a few days in May, the first stop in the program’s “Great American Adventure” tour. Talk about great coverage for the state. All of the islands were featured and the hosts of the show, Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie and Natalie Morales were friendly and professional. Kudos to NBC, The Royal Hawaiian Hotel and General Manager Kelly Hoen who went all out to play host to the show, and to HVCB and its island chapters who helped pull together many of the logistics. Gov. Neil Abercrombie gamely stayed up into the wee hours to be interviewed and put in a good word for the state. Kudos also to the governor for welcoming more than 600 attendees to the 2013 National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS) on May 20, and using the platform to chastise a small, but vocal, number of news media and government officials who had criticized the association. “Hawaii’s beautiful scenery and weather may blind some to the fact that we are home The Hawaii Food & Wine Festival returns to Ko Olina this fall with the theme, “Savory Ever After.” to a thriving, sophisticated and contemporary More than 70 internationally acclaimed master chefs, government and business community, and objections show a lack of understanding as to what goes on in our state,” he said sommeliers and winemakers will join Hawaii’s talented culinary professionals to showcase the state’s bounty of during the opening address at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. locally sourced produce, seafood, beef, and poultry at several The governor pointed out that meetings and conventions exciting events throughout the week. Tickets are on sale at move the wheels of commerce and that when dealing with HawaiiFoodandWineFestival.com, and are available at a Hawaii, planners are assured of the value they are getting, discounted rate through Aug. 23. knowing their events will be invigorating while allowing It’s been a great year to date for our visitor industry and attendees to relax, think clearly, collaborate and, most we have every belief this positive trend will continue. importantly, fulfill their business objectives. It was a firm stand against the “boondoggle” tag that some have attached George D. Szigeti is president and CEO of the Hawaii Lodging & to meetings in Hawaii. Tourism Association (HLTA). The HLTA’s new “Meet Hawaii” sales and marketing team www.hawaiihospitalityonline.com 15 http://www.HawaiiFoodandWineFestival.com http://www.hawaiihospitalityonline.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hawaii Hospitality - July/August 2013

New Restaurants
Beverage Trends
Guest Services
Beyond Waikiki
Talk Story with George Szigeti
Association News
News Briefs
Clean Talk with Rose

Hawaii Hospitality - July/August 2013