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Hawaii honored with TravelAge West WAVE awards


The Hawaiian Islands were honored with two 2011 WAVE Awards in the categories of “Best Destination for a Beach Vacation” and “Best of the West: Beach Vacation and Favorite Destination for a Family Vacation” as part of the TravelAge West WAVE (Western Agents’ Votes of Excellence) Awards.

Hawaii beat stiff competition from Jamaica, Mexico, and Tahiti in the Beach Vacation category. It also bested Disneyland Resort (Anaheim, Calif.), Alaska, and San Diego to top the Best in the West: Family Vacation category.

Other businesses with Hawaii ties were also honored, including Pleasant Holidays who was named “Best Tour Operator, Hawaii,” Hilton Hawaiian Village as “Best Resort for Families, Hawaii,” and Kaanapali Beach Hotel as “Best Resort for a Hawaiian Cultural Vacation.”

“Being recognized by TravelAge West is an outstanding achievement for Hawaii’s visitor industry and a testament to all of our industry partners,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

“This award is special since it is voted on by travel agent professionals who are extremely familiar with competing destinations. Congratulations to the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau as well as Pleasant Holidays, Hilton Hawaiian Village and Kaanapali Beach Hotel who were also recognized,” McCartney said.

“Our travel trade team has put in a lot of work over the years building relationships with travel agents through our Ke Kula O Hawaii destination course and other educational programs. This has proven to be a key ingredient in helping our tourism industry particularly in the last year,” said John Monahan, president and CEO of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau. “It’s great to know the readers of TravelAge West appreciate our hard work. We accept these accolades on behalf of our marketing partners and entire hospitality industry in Hawaii whose valued support make it possible.”

Travel agent professionals throughout the 14 Western states and readers of TravelAge West were invited to vote on the best-of-the-best from a list of Editor’s Pick award recipients that were chosen after careful review by Editor-in-Chief Ken Shapiro and the editorial team of TravelAge West. Review methods included product analysis, on-site visits, a survey of a select group of travel agents and online research.

Hawaii received three 2011 Editor’s Pick Awards in the categories of Best Destination for a Honeymoon/Romance Vacation, Best Destination for a Beach Vacation and Best of the West: Favorite Destination for a Family Vacation.

“As in past years, the editorial staff undertook hours of research and looked at a wide range of factors in making our picks,” Shapiro said. “The companies acknowledged with our Editor’s Pick designation provide travelers with truly exceptional experiences.”

Now in its sixth year, the goal of TravelAge West’s WAVE Awards is to give travel agents in the Western U.S. the opportunity to recognize the outstanding qualities and services of their travel-supplier partners.

The magazine’s special WAVE Awards Spotlight Issue is out this month.

TravelAge West is the leading trade magazine for travel agents and the travel industry in the 14 western states. Serving its 22,000 readers for 42 years, the biweekly magazine is a main source of news and product information for the region’s agents and travel executives.

TravelAge West is a part of Northstar Travel Media LLC, a worldwide provider of information, news and data for the travel and hospitality industry. Northstar Travel Media is based in Secaucus, N.J.

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