HONOLULU, Hawaii – January 12, 2009 – Marriott’s Spirit of Aloha Tour, a month-long consumer and travel trade blitz to promote Hawaii vacations, launched today in San Diego, California with a Hawaiian blessing that included traditional chants, conch shell blowers, hula dancers and musicians.
The blessing signaled the start of a 1,300-mile journey aboard a 45-foot-long tour bus emblazoned with tropical images of Hawaii, that brings the sights and sounds of Hawaii to eight cities across California, Oregon and Washington. The campaign aims to encourage West Coast residents to travel to the Aloha State in the coming year and stay at beautiful Marriott Resorts to be found on Kauai, Oahu, Maui and Hawaii’s Big Island.
“We are excited to launch Marriott’s Spirit of Aloha Tour,” said Ed Hubennette vice president for North Asia, Hawaii, and South Pacific, Marriott International. “Hawaii is the favorite vacation destination for people living on the West Coast. Our message to them is that a Hawaii vacation is very affordable right now and offers just the right combination of relaxation and fun to rejuvenate and nourish the soul in these challenging times.”
To add to the excitement, American Idol Top 10 Finalist from Season 3, Camile Velasco of Maui, has signed up as the ambassador of aloha on the tour. Camile, who will be making public and media appearances, has recently produced a new music CD called “Koy” which will be launched in March 2009. Her single, “Guava Jelly” can be downloaded on iTunes. Also performing on the tour is a hula halau, or troupe, from the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu.
The bus will stop at Costco Warehouses and call on key travel wholesalers, travel agencies and meeting planners in each of the eight cities. “Costco’s travel division is one of our key travel partners and we’re going to have a ‘Hawaii Day’ at Costco with the Marriott bus parked outside,” said Hubennette.
Marriott’s Spirit of Aloha Tour schedule is as follows:
January 12 – 15 San Diego
January 16 – 23 Los Angeles and Orange County
January 24 – 31 San Jose, San Francisco
January 27 Sacramento
February 1 – 4 Portland
February 4 – 6 Seattle
General managers and directors of sales and marketing from each of Marriott’s resort hotels in Hawaii and the retail sales team based on the West Coast will join Hubennette on the tour.
Marriott, along with partner Hawaiian Airlines, will be giving away trips to Hawaii for stays in its hotels as part of a sweepstakes program on radio and television.
In conjunction with Marriott’s Spirit of Aloha Tour, there are special vacation packages being offered to mark the Hawaii’s 50th Statehood Anniversary. The “Hawaii Statehood Package” is available throughout 2009 at all five Marriott Resorts in Hawaii. Guests will receive:
Package is based on availability, restrictions may apply. To book, visit Marriott.com and use promotional code PRO or all 1-800-721-6996.
Marriott International in Hawaii is represented by five resort hotels on three major islands: JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, Kaua‘i Marriott Resort & Beach Club, Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa and Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. In addition, there are four Marriott Vacation Club International vacation ownership resorts.
To see Marriott’s Spirit of Aloha Tour, visit the newly launched http://marriottalohatour.com
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MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, Inc. (NYSE:MAR) is a leading lodging company with more than 3,100 lodging properties in the United States and 66 other countries and territories. Marriott International operates and franchises hotels under the Marriott, JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance, Residence Inn, Courtyard, TownePlace Suites, Fairfield Inn, SpringHill Suites and Bulgari brand names; develops and operates vacation ownership resorts under the Marriott Vacation Club, Horizons by Marriott Vacation Club, The Ritz-Carlton Club and Grand Residences by Marriott brands; operates Marriott Executive Apartments; provides furnished corporate housing through its Marriott ExecuStay division; and operates conference centers. The company is headquartered in Bethesda, Md., and had approximately 151,000 employees at 2007 year-end. It is ranked as the lodging industry’s most admired company and one of the best companies to work for by FORTUNE®, and has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the 2007 Sustained Excellence Award and Partner of the Year since 2004. In fiscal year 2007, Marriott International reported sales from continuing operations of $13 billion. For more information or reservations, please visit our web site at www.marriott.com.
Editor's Note: High-resolution images and interview with Ed Hubennette available upon request.
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