Maui Business

Free Workshop Focuses on Business with Korean Visitors

September 20, 2013, 1:47 PM HST
* Updated September 20, 3:53 PM
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Photo by Wendy Osher.  Seo-gu / Maui sister city signing ceremony.

File photo by Wendy Osher.  Seo-gu / Maui sister city signing ceremony, November 2011.

By Wendy Osher

The County of Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development will host a business workshop in October entitled, “On the Horizon: Visitors from Korea.”

The free workshop is offered in partnership with Maui Visitors Bureau and is designed for local businesses and their approach to an expanding visitor market.

Just last year, Hawaiian Airlines expanded its nonstop service between Seoul and Honolulu from four flights a week to a daily schedule. The airline projected that the service would add 40,000 new air seats annually, and increase the total number of air seats annually to 96,000 between Seoul and Honolulu.

“Following Korea’s entrance to the Visa Waiver Program, arrivals from Korea have increased by double-digits year over year,” the airline said late last year.

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Here on Maui, Mayor Alan Arakawa formalized a sister-city relationship with Seo-gu, South Korea during a ceremony with Seo-gu Mayor Hwan Yong Park in November 2011.

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“We have been actively pursuing the Korean tourism market as a means of strengthening our economic base,” said Arakawa in a media release statement.

He continued, “Arrivals from South Korea have begun to increase dramatically, and it will be critical that local businesses are prepared to greet these visitors in ways that will make them welcome. We want them to feel at home on Maui, and to return for future visits.”

County officials say topics of the upcoming workshop include: understanding Korean visitors; language barriers; what Korean visitors want form their Hawaiian vacation; Korean market travel trends; strategies in attracting more Korean visitors; Maui’s strengths and weaknesses within this market; and company readiness for travelers from Korea.

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A list of speakers and panelists was also released that includes: Chanho Hong, president & COO of GSA Korea of Hawaiian Airlines; Kim Chin Sol, international coordinator, Goyang Policy Planning Division; and Emily Kim, marketing director, Hawaiʻi Tourism Korea.

The workshop runs from 1 to 4 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 21, at the Hyatt Regency Ballroom in Kāʻanapali.

Reservations are required by contacting [email protected] The deadline to register is Oct. 4.

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