• Bob Hampton Featured in Star Advertiser Editorial - Hawaii's Aloha Spirit Brings Visitor's Back

Hawaii's Aloha Spirit Brings Visitor’s Back
Your front page story, “Isles losing appeal for repeat visitors,” that appeared in yesterday’s paper is very well written. However, it is most concerning to me and I suspect for other tourism stakeholders.

My main concern is that our legislature and state administration (HTA too) appear to be out of step with Hawaii’s long suit, and that is, we are “The Aloha State,“ with more returning visitors than new ones, this has been true for the 70 years that I have been in Hawaii’s tourism industry.

For instance, Visitors responses since before statehood would almost always have at the top of their list of their stated reasons to return, “the local people with their Aloha Spirit.”

When I was at the UH in the 50s’ (before statehood) I drove a tour car for Tropic Tours and my route was Honolulu Harbor to Waikiki.

I remember one of the most common requests from my back seat passengers, both coming from and going to the harbor was, “Please drive by, (sometimes a hotel or restaurant) because I want run in to say Aloha to my good friend.”

Aloha was so powerful, it was obvious that these visitors were motivated by their need to say “Aloha.”

We have always had more return visitors coming to Hawaii than new ones. I have a perfect example why with a 27 time return visitor family.

The fact that they kept coming back to Hawaii, was not just beaches and beauty, as they live in Tampa, with one of the best beaches in Florida.

Here is what I mean by they were motivated by the “Aloha Spirit” and it is in their own words.

Col. Harwig told us that the beaches and weather are wonderful in his home town of Tampa Florida, but the “Aloha Spirit” that he and his wife experience in Hawaii is unique and very special. Col. Harwig writes; “I always tell people that ask us why do we go to Hawaii to spend our vacation there when we live in Florida with all its great weather, beaches and entertainment. Our answer has always been the Hilton Hawaiian Village and the wonderful staff that makes our vacation the best we could ever hope for.”

This is not the first time the Harwig's have told us about Hawaii’s Aloha Spirit. In fact, after their 15th trip to the Village in 1999 they were so happy that they sent a letter to the Waikiki Press paper. Their letter was the subject of an article in that paper. See article below.

Where do the return visitors find the Aloha Spirit during their vacation in Hawaii? Again lets have the Harwigs tell us the answer. They credit their hotel “maid who met our every needs with courtesy and a smile. She is hard working and very courteous.” Another source is the valet, “he is a hard worker and certainly always extends the “Aloha Spirit” to all of your guests.” The Harwigs credit the front desk manager, the parking lot manager and they give special thanks for the beach boys as the Harwigs “spend most of our time on the beach.” The Harwig’s tell us they are now looking forward to their 25th vacation at the Village.

Every return visitor has their own special praise for one of Hawaii’s Ambassadors of Aloha. It is the people and their “Aloha Spirit“ that brings Hawaii its fame.

It’s not unusual for a return visitor, after arriving at the hotel and checking in, to first visit the beach, the concierge and the garage to see how everyone is doing before going to their room.


Bob Hampton
Chairman Waikiki Beach Activities, Inc

Featured in star Advertiser - June 28, 2023

Below is the Waikiki Press article, June 1999

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