The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau and the Hawaii Tourism Authority have tough jobs. They have to continually reinvent themselves and our island to try and convince people that this is where they should spend their hard-earned dollars. In good economic times, the job is undoubtedly easier. In tough times, and when people are worried about jobs, mortgages, credit card debt, and 401 (k) plans, the thought of traveling to the most isolated land mass on the planet just might not stimulate the senses.
But promote we must, to different people in different places in different ways. And to some of the very same people in areas prone to send the most people here- California, Japan, Western Canada. Right now, a Los Angeles ad campaign is being pushed, much like a Bay Area effort helped cause a spurt in San Francisco visitors a year ago. When times are good, people simply expect it will continue. When visitor arrivals fall, the sideline critics are quick to blame the promoters- quite unfairly.