Hawaii protects its image

Dan Grech Oct 18, 2006


BRIAN WATT: Now you have seen the pictures from this past weekend’s earthquake in Hawaii: Closed stores. Evacuated hotels. Stranded tourists sleeping on airport floors. Tourism officials there want to counter those images. Today, they’re kicking off new campaign and it’s got a new video has “good pictures.” From WLRN, Marketplace’s Dan Grech reports.

DAN GRECH: This year Hawaii’s had an earthquake, a dam break and a sewage spill, but the state’s new promotional video shows tourists in the surf and playing with dolphins.

Cathy Keefe is with the Travel Industry Association of America. She says these upbeat scenes are needed to counter the recent images of death and destruction.

CATHY KEEFE:“The perception is that the entire state is under water or is a pile of rubble. And so the state needs to go out and say, ‘Hey, yes something did happen. It was right here, but we’re open for business and we need you to come back.'”

Tourism is Hawaii’s No. 1 industry. It generates $12 billion dollars annually for the islands.

So far, Hawaii has not seen any falloff in visitors from its various natural disasters. In fact, mainland Americans are flocking there in record numbers.

I’m Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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