Categorized | Business

Hawaii’s hosting expertise on display for APEC


Hawaii’s standing as an elite destination for business meetings and conventions continues to grow in stature and will be fully realized with the hosting of the 2011 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Meeting (APEC), Nov. 7-13.

“With APEC Leaders’ Week just around the corner, we are extremely pleased with the support of the visitor industry and community in coming together for this unprecedented event for Hawaii and our tourism economy,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

“We look forward to sharing the hospitality and aloha spirit of our people, our world-class facilities and the outstanding service of our visitor industry to the world. And we remain committed to promoting the Hawaiian Islands not only as a leisure destination, but also an ideal place to conduct business and host meetings, conventions and incentives.”

Approximately 20,000 international attendees are doing business in Honolulu during APEC, led by President Barack Obama and 20 other heads of state from Pacific Rim nations. While the 21 leaders will address matters of economic growth, trade, and investment for the entire region, APEC’s delegates, including finance ministers, diplomats, policy-makers, and top CEOs, will be networking in pursuit of new business opportunities.

Honolulu is APEC’s first U.S. host site since 1993 and an ideal selection due to its geographical location, cultural diversity, and record of service professionalism. APEC’s leaders and delegates will enjoy the benefits of the award-winning Hawaii Convention Center, first-rate hotel lodging and meeting facilities, and a highly skilled tourism industry workforce with vast experience at accommodating the special requests and needs of groups from around the world.

Statewide, Hawaii offers groups the unique appeal of six business meeting experiences on six beautiful, but distinctively different islands – Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and Hawaii Island.

On Oahu, where the APEC summit is taking place, the full scope of services provided by Hawaii’s meetings industry will be on display for the leaders and delegates to conduct their business throughout the week. Along with Hawaii’s hotels, industry partners supporting APEC include destination management companies, ground transportation providers, suppliers of specialty services and products, and activities and attractions for pre- and post-APEC stays.

Delegates from APEC’s 21-member economies are headquartered in more than 10 hotels, requiring extensive coordination daily on many fronts for movement between venues, attending special events, scheduling of private meetings, and hosting dinners and receptions.

This is in addition to satisfying any special needs by the visiting delegations involving ethnic foods, cultural traditions, and communications technology, while meeting all security requirements for this high-profile conference of global leaders.

Hawaii’s meetings industry is more than up to the task, according to John Monahan, president and CEO of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.

“Hawaii’s tourism industry professionals are the world’s experts at creating the best, most hospitable and stimulating business environment possible for groups to interact and develop mutually beneficial opportunities for success,” Monahan said. “We’re confident APEC’s participants will enjoy doing business in Hawaii and find the experience energizing and rewarding in meeting their objectives.”

The five-star Hawaii Convention Center epitomizes the quality and capabilities of Hawaii’s meetings industry, with the hosting of ministerial and business meetings during APEC. Conveniently located at the entrance to Waikiki, the picturesque Hawaii Convention Center offers a variety of impressive meeting space options, highlighted by a spacious exhibit hall, Hawaii’s largest ballroom, two presentation theaters, and 47 private meeting rooms. Hawaii’s cultural heritage is beautifully showcased in the facility’s design and presentation of artwork and native flora.

“Hawaii’s trademark aloha spirit will be on full display during APEC, which is an essential reason why our visitors and business leaders keep coming back time and again,” said Joe Davis, SMG general manager of the Hawaii Convention Center. “We are proud to showcase the best of Hawaii’s service, technology, facilities and scenery during these world-class meetings.”

Guiding Hawaii’s hosting of APEC is the APEC 2011 Hawaii Host Committee, a blue chip panel from the private and public sector led by Chairman Peter Ho, president and CEO of Bank of Hawaii, Executive Vice-Chair Timothy Johns, senior vice president of HMSA, Mike McCartney, Dr. Charles Morrison, president of The East-West Center, and Hawaii Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz.

Along with showcasing Hawaii’s strengths as a meetings destination, the Host Committee is highlighting other key Hawaii industry sectors during APEC: sustainability and clean energy, life and health sciences, and earth, ocean and sky sciences.

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