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Hawaii promoted to financial meeting planners

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 02:04 p.m. HST, Nov 12, 2012

Hawaii tourism industry promoters are visiting California this week to draw more business and convention travelers to the islands. 

The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau’s Meet Hawaii sales team is attending the Financial & Insurance Conference Planners annual conference in Los Angeles. The group’s members plan meetings for financial and insurance companies. 

Members of the planners’ group are a top target for the visitors bureau, which aims to increase bookings from companies that organize meetings and that offer travel incentives to employees who reach production goals.

Hawaii Tourism Authority President Mike McCartney said in a statement today that the market is one of “the most valuable and lucrative” visitor markets for the state. Corporate and incentive travel from North America accounted for 300,000 visitors and $743 million in spending last year, the agency said. 

Michael Murray, the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau’s vice president of sales and marketing for the meetings, conventions and incentive sector, said Hawaii is an ideal fit for companies.

The Financial Insurance Conference Planners group is already scheduled to hold its 2014 meeting at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island. 

Oahu hosted the organization’s 2004 annual meeting. Murray said it was “a real coup” to bring the gathering back to Hawaii. The 2014 meeting will be “great for business on all islands,” he said. 

The Hawaii Tourism Authority hires the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau to promote the state to the conventions, meetings and incentives market. 

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