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Hawaii tourism officials brainstorming ways to attract your LGBTI travel spend – will you be going?

Hawaii tourism officials brainstorming ways to attract your LGBTI travel spend – will you be going?

Hawaii is one of the world's most popular honeymoon destinations

Some of Hawaii’s top travel movers and shakers met in Waikiki this week to brainstorm new ways to attract LGBTI tourists.

 

The meeting follows the formation of the LGBT Hawaii in June, comprised of over 40 stakeholders. The group’s founding members include Marriott Hawaii Resorts and Discover Hawaii Tours.

The activity follow the legalization of gay marriage throughout America in June.

Juergen Steinmetz, founder of LGBT Hawaii told Gay Star News: ‘Our goal is to get all the various LGBT connected organizations and initiatives under one room and concentrate with tourism stakeholders to help Hawaii become a world class destination again for the LGBT traveler.’ He described the organization as ‘a non profit outreach with a for profit goal.’

Speaking about the meeting, he said: ‘It was a great success. We had 113 companies listed, 41 showed up for the meeting. Many are on our neighbor islands and could not attend, but we are planning other meetings on Maui, Kauai and the Big Island of Hawaii soon.’

Discussion topics at the meeting included: LGBT Hawaii’s partnership with the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association, LGBTI outreach in Japan, Europe, Australia and China, and how to get the state tourism agency to understand the potential of the LGBTI market for Hawaii.

Future plans include: ‘Getting businesses in Hawaii and also outside Hawaii – tour operators or travel agencies selling Hawaii to the LGBT community – to list in our directory, reaching out to the media, both local and international, and lobbying the Hawaii Tourism Authority for support.’

However, some have questioned whether the government authorities are doing enough to welcome LGBTI travelers.

Questioned whether the state can make it as a hot new LGBTI destination, Jack Law, owner of Hawaii gay bars Hula’s Bar and Lei Stand, told Hawaii Public Radio-HPR2: ‘Hawaii [the state tourism agency] has done hardly any kind of reach out to this community. We’re simply not in the game.’

The Hawaii Tourism Authority told the outlet: ‘As an island community of diverse cultures, customs and backgrounds, Hawaii is a place of mutual respect and aloha for all. We welcome all visitors that want to experience and embrace the aloha spirit that makes our Hawaiian Islands so special.’

According to official figures, 767,408 people visited the 50th state in June 2015.

For more information on LGBT Hawaii, click here.

For more information on Hawaii, click here.