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(Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009)—Mayor Mufi Hannemann will depart today for travel to Seattle, Washington; Orlando, Florida; and Tokyo, Japan to promote Hawaii tourism and attend conferences in which he will either make presentations or deliver speeches.


            In Seattle, Hannemann will attend the U.S. Conference of Mayors Fall Leadership Conference and participate with Neighbor Island mayors and the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau in the “A Thousand Reasons to Smile” campaign designed to attract more visitors to Hawaii and boost our economy.


Hannemann is a member of the USCM Board of Trustees, and serves as chairman of the USCM Standing Committee on Tourism, Arts, Parks, Entertainment and Sports. The Fall Leadership Conference will include presentations from members of President Obama’s administration regarding the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and the funding opportunities it provides for infrastructure projects and other initiatives. Honolulu is already slated to receive $94 million through ARRA, and recently began work on Hawaii’s first major infrastructure project to receive funding through the federal stimulus program: the rehabilitation of 5,820 feet of defective sewer lines in Waimalu.


The “A Thousand Reasons to Smile” campaign in Seattle coincided with the USCM conference, and the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau invited Hannemann to participate. The campaign included previous events in San Francisco and Los Angeles, which Hannemann participated in, and highlights Hawaii’s culture, its myths and legends, culinary trends and entertainment. The campaign is designed to remind major media outlets and potential visitors that Hawaii is a beautiful and safe destination with a rich culture and fascinating history, and offers good value to travelers who have many other options.


The American Public Transportation Association invited Hannemann to speak at its annual meeting, which will be held in Orlando from October 4 to 6. Hannemann will be there for two days to discuss the progress of Honolulu’s rail transit project and other public transportation improvement initiatives.


            Finally, Hannemann and other Hawaii mayors will attend a series of tourism-related events and meetings in Tokyo from October 7 to 9 at the invitation of Marriott International, which is conducting a “Spirit of Aloha” tour to promote travel to Hawaii. The campaign will include “Happy Call” stops in different locations and emphasize Hawaii’s safety, natural beauty, and cultural connections to Japan. Hawaii-born sumo legend Konishki will serve as key ambassador, and the tour will include performers from the Polynesian Cultural Center. Hannemann participated in a similar campaign earlier this year in Washington DC, aimed at attracting visitors from the US east coast.


Hannemann will depart from Honolulu today and return on Friday, October 9.




Media contact: Bill Brennan, Mayor’s Press Secretary, 768-6928