Aloha Ambassadors improving the visitor experience in a tight economy - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Aloha Ambassadors improving the visitor experience in a tight economy

Nick Marar Nick Marar
JoAnn Cowen JoAnn Cowen
Alden Esping Alden Esping
Jan Yamane Jan Yamane
Sherrie Kam Sherrie Kam

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

WAIKIKI (KHNL) - Our slowing economy is not only impacting island residents, but many visitors are also feeling the economic pinch. But there's an effort underway to make sure visitors get more bang for their buck.

Waikiki has a million dollar view, unfortunately, for some its starting to feel that costly with rising prices for everything.

"We're sort of watching the bigger ticket items and not doing the bigger ticket items cause it will cost a lot more," said Nick Marar of New Zealand.

Higher costs for flights, along with fuel and food may even put the brakes on a Hawaiian vacation.

"We are retired teachers and this took us a while to save for. If we didn't gotten our reservations when we did, we probably wouldn't be here," said JoAnn Cowen, of Texas.

With many paying more, local businesses want to make sure visitors get their moneys worth.

Aloha Ambassadors help with that mission.

"They make visitors feel very comfortable, and answer questions and give their aloha, its just very nice," said Alden Esping, from California.

On any given day, over a dozen ambassadors patrol the sand and streets of Waikiki, answering questions, giving tips and making visitors feel welcome.

The ambassadors keep the streets clean, by picking up litter, they also keep the streets clean in a different way - by looking out for crime.

"While they are on tours, they are alert to safety issues, so our visitors have a safe experience while they are here," said Jan Yamane, with the Waikiki Business Improvement District.

And this effort of aloha could pay off in the future for Hawaii's slowing tourism industry.

"Hopefully, they get a good vacation. Cause would of mouth goes a long way. So they'd bring more visitors with them, that would be nice," said Aloha Ambassador, Sherrie Kam.

Island businesses and hotels in Waikiki all pay a fee for the Aloha Ambassadors, along with other services to provide a clean and safe place for travelers to enjoy.

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