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Abercrombie aims to strengthen Asia relations


Gov. Neil Abercrombie is in Asia through Oct. 21 to visit with travel industry leaders and dignitaries in Tokyo, Okinawa and Beijing.

The governor will be accompanied by Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) officials who arranged part of the trip in an effort to reach out to international markets and strengthen economic relations prior to the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.

“This trip is an opportunity for us to showcase what Hawaii has to offer to the people of Tokyo, Okinawa, and China,” Abercrombie said. “I’m looking forward to expanding on our relationship in those regions from the perspective of not just business, but travel and foreign policy as well.”

This will be the first international trip for Abercrombie since taking office. The cost of the trip for the governor, one staff member, and security is $28,641.98.

The governor will be attending meetings with HTA in Tokyo and Okinawa. He will then attend the National Governors Association (NGA) U.S. – China Governors Forum in Beijing before returning Oct. 21 to Hawaii.

HTA President Mike McCartney added, “The Asia market is of great importance to Hawaii’s tourism economy, especially Japan, China and Korea, and the Governor’s presence will strengthen the strong historical connections that Hawaii’s people and our visitor industry have there.”

Schedule of events:

* Sunday, Oct. 9 – Governor departs for Japan with HTA representatives

* Monday, Oct. 10 – Arrival in Tokyo

* Tuesday, Oct. 11 – Meetings: Japan Association of Travel Agents;
JALPAK; Japan Airlines; Trade Industry Partners; Trade Media; and depart for Okinawa

* Wednesday, Oct. 12 – Arrival in Okinawa; Meetings: Okinawa Prefecture Government; Participate in Uchinanchu Parade; Attend Okinawa Governor’s Reception

* Thursday, Oct. 13 – Meetings: University of Ryukyus/Ryudai, tree planting ceremony with UH President MRC Greenwood and HTA; Okinawa Institute of Science & Technology; Worldwide Uchinanchu Takai Event; Okinawa Tourist Service

* Friday, Oct. 14 – Meetings: Okinawa International University; Okinawa Tourist Service; Okinawa Visitors & Convention Bureau; U.S. Consul General

* Saturday, Oct. 15 – Meetings: 1st International Uchinanchu Ancestry Symposium; Okinawa Prefecture Museum; Okinawa Peace Memorial Hall; Okinawa Hawaii Kyo Kai Reception

* Sunday, Oct. 16 – Depart Okinawa for Beijing

* Monday, Oct. 17 – NGA U.S. – China Governors Forum
HTA Meetings: U.S. Embassy; Travel Industry Representatives; Chairman Shao Qiwie, China National Tourism Admin.

* Tuesday, Oct. 18 – NGA U.S. – China Governors Forum

* Wednesday, Oct. 19 – NGA U.S. – China Governors Forum

* Thursday, Oct. 20 – Return to Honolulu

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