Agent visit, NCL free air offer aimed to help Hawaii's tourism recovery

NCL's Andy Stuart is flanked by executive director of the Island of Hawai‘i Visitors Bureau Ross Birch, left, and Hawaii state Rep. Richard Onishi Tuesday in Hilo NCL's Andy Stuart is flanked by executive director of the Island of Hawai‘i Visitors Bureau Ross Birch, left, and Hawaii state Rep. Richard Onishi Tuesday in Hilo

In an effort to stimulate tourism to Hawaii, Norwegian Cruise Line, along with the Island of Hawai`i Visitors Bureau, hosted a private event Tuesday in Hilo to celebrate the culture, history and people of the islands. The line also announced a limited-time free airfare promotion.

Post-volcano tourism challenges

Focused on educating and reacquainting prospective visitors with the 50th state following Kilauea volcano's latest lava flow, NCL and visitors bureau representatives welcomed government officials and top travel professionals from across the nation at the `Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo. Andy Stuart, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line; Ross Birch, executive director of the Island of Hawai`i Visitors Bureau; and state Rep. Richard Onishi addressed the group, each emphasizing the tourism need and opportunity across the Hawaiian Islands.

Free/reduced air from 38 gateways

Stuart discussed Norwegian's long-standing support for the destination and its history of inter-island sailings from Honolulu 52 weeks a year. He also announced the company’s most recent effort to encourage travel—a new 'Free At Sea' offer which provides free and reduced airfare from 37 airports nationwide as well as from Vancouver, BC, beginning Oct. 4.

'Our Pride of America sailings continue to be one of the most coveted itineraries we offer,' Stuart said. 'We remain dedicated to this captivating destination which is why we are inspiring travelers with this latest free air promotion. We want to encourage vacationers to take a closer look at Pride of America, Hawaii and all this paradise state has to offer.'

Pride of America's $436m impact

Each year, NCL draws well over 111,000 travelers and adds close to $436m to the state’s economy. The US-flag Pride of America has been sailing its exclusive itinerary for 14 years. With nearly 100 hours of port time, the weekly cruises provide significant support to local businesses.

Clean air quality, new nature experiences

'We appreciate the continued commitment of Norwegian Cruise Line to showcase the island of Hawaii to its guests, especially considering the challenges in travel demand that Kilauea volcano's latest lava flow created this past summer,' Birch said. 'With most of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park having reopened, visitors can now enjoy all that our majestic island has to offer. The air quality is clean and beautiful for all to enjoy, new nature-based experiences are available and the weather will continue to be warm and welcoming throughout the fall and winter months.'

In addition to today’s event in Hilo, NCL hosted more than 50 travel professionals aboard Pride of America this week.

'We are so proud to continue supporting this incredible destination by investing in this effort,' said NCL's Camille Olivere, SVP sales. 'Our travel partners are very important to us as they will be instrumental in not only driving guests to Pride of America but additional tourism to this beautiful state.'

Posted 02 October 2018

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review