POSTED: 8:44 p.m. HST, Jul 18, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 8:51 p.m. HST, Jul 18, 2011
WAILUKU >> Maui government leaders say they used a taxpayer-funded trip to South Korea to promote island tourism.
Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa and Maui County Council Chairman Danny Mateo led the trip, which lasted from July 5 to July 13.
The Maui News reports that the county paid $5,300 in airfare for Arakawa, Mateo, Department of Finance Deputy Director Jeremiah Savage and Deputy Chief of Staff Kit Zulueta. Arakawa's wife and Savage's wife paid their own travel expenses on the trip.
Mateo says Koreans are interested in visiting Hawaii, but their knowledge of the state is limited to Waikiki Beach. He says he wanted to expand their vision to include Maui.
The Maui delegation met five mayors, a governor and business and tourism officials during the trip.