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Office of Economic Development to hold China visitor workshop

By Staff | Aug 21, 2014

Visitors from China and Taiwan pay homage to a statue of former Kula resident Sun Mei, brother of Dr. Sun Yat Sen, for whom the Keokea park is named. PHOTO BY THE COUNTY OF MAUI/RYAN PIROS.

WAILUKU – The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development is teaming up with the Maui Visitors Bureau to produce a free workshop entitled “On the Horizon China Visitors. Maui, Are You Ready?”

The workshop will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 2, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Makena Beach and Golf Resort’s Kaeo Ballroom.

Open to the public, the event targets the visitor industry and other business sectors or individuals interested in learning more about the rapidly growing Chinese visitor market.

Representatives from Hawaiian Airlines and HTA-China will discuss marketing efforts to promote Maui as a destination in China.

Barbara McDonald, an international communications expert and director/ founder of UBU Travel, will enlighten the group on the communications barriers for Chinese visitors.

The workshop will end with a question-and-answer session for a panel made up of China tour operators who have first-hand experience.

“Visitors from China represent an exciting growth opportunity for Maui County,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa. “We need to educate ourselves on how to welcome both groups and individuals from China, and how to provide them with a quality experience.”

Teena Rasmussen, director of OED, noted that the workshop will present an “up-to-date, fresh and relevant view of what visitors from China want to experience during their Hawaiian vacation.”

Terryl Vencl, executive director for the Maui Visitors Bureau, added that the China market has shown significant growth over the past year.

“The State of Hawaii has seen an increase of 23.5 percent in visitors from China over last year, and Maui County has seen a 31.5 percent increase over last year,” Vencl said.

Workshop space is limited; seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The session is free, but participants must pre-register at mvcbchinavisitors.eventbrite.com.

For more information, call the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development at 270-7710.