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ANDREW DOHERTY


WHEN CAPTAIN Cook first made contact with Hawaii in 1778 he named his discovery the “Sandwich Islands” after the Earl of


Sandwich who sponsored his expedition. Although this name has since been discarded, Hawaii’s links with Britain remain strong; the state flag still retains the Union Jack. I met up with representatives from


Hawaii’s island chapters, who came to London for a sales mission this month. I learnt there are more than 100 islands in total, but six main ones devoted to tourism; Kauai, Oahu (pictured right), Molokai, Lanai, Maui and Hawaii Island (also known as Big Island), all offering an eclectic range of experiences. For example, on Hawaii Island clients can visit the Hawaii Volcanoes national park, home to two active volcanoes (Kilauea and Mauna Loa) and go hiking across volcanic craters, deserts and rainforests. On Maui, visitors can drive the 52-mile coastal route from Kahului to Hana and marvel at its narrow one-lane bridges, hairpin turns and incredible island views. Hana itself is worth the trip, with its quaint small-town feel, and nearby Waianapanapa state park is famed for its black sand beach. “We aren’t simply just a flop and


drop destination,” explained Noelani Schilling-Wheeler, director of sales and marketing at Oahu Visitors Bureau. “We have loads to offer, from whale watching in Maui to visiting contemporary art galleries in Hanalei on Kauai. And with the new GoHawaii app clients should find it even easier to discover what the islands have to offer.” There are no


direct flights


HAWAII Coordinates: 19.8968° N, 155.5828° W


from the UK to any of the six islands. However, there are plenty of ways to get there including transfers from Los Angeles, Dallas and Vancouver. Daily ferries are also available to help clients journey between


the islands. Caroline Anderson, tourism brand manager, Hawaii Tourism


Authority, said that encouraging Brits to stay on more than one island was a priority for 2017. “We have eight new operators


featuring Hawaii this year – Elegant Resorts, Trek America, Discover the World and Ocean Holidays to name a few. Now that we have them onboard, our goal is for them to see the appeal of Hawaii as a multi-centre destination. We have


a new agent training site set to launch by the end of the year and we have fam trips planned too.” And while the islands have lost


their Sandwich name, one tourism boss has another food-inspired comparison she likes to use: “The Hawaiian islands are like


ice-cream,” added Schilling-Wheeler. “Each one has a unique flavour but all are certainly sweet.”


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