Marriott Resorts Hawaii Promotional Bus Tour is a Big Success: New Tour on the Books for 2011

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Mobile marketing blitzes are increasing bookings for Marriott’s Hawaii hotels.

Marriott's Spirit of Aloha Tour Bus at the St. Louis Gateway Arch

Marriott will continue to create opportunities like this for our hotels and with our partners across the state to keep bringing visitors to the Hawaiian Islands.

Riding high after wrapping up its successful Marriott’s Spirit of Aloha Tour, Marriott Resorts Hawaii is excited to announce its third U.S. Tour in 2011 to promote Hawaii travel in key West, Midwest and Northeast source markets. A list of U.S. cities and dates will be announced at a later time.

The just-completed 2010 Tour launched January 19 in Phoenix and traveled 5,553 miles across the Southwest, Southeast, Great Plains, and Rocky Mountains before ending February 12 in Los Angeles. Marriott Resorts Hawaii journeyed across the country aboard a 45-foot-long eco-friendly executive coach wrapped with destination images of Hawaii. Along for the ride were former American Idol finalist Jasmine Trias of Oahu and Polynesian Cultural Center dancers and musicians. The traveling luau of Hawaiian entertainers visited and engaged with meeting planners and broadcast media in a dozen cities during a time when low temperatures and snowfall broke all records.

According to Chris Tatum, vice president of Marriott International – North Asia, Hawaii and South Pacific, Marriott saw an immediate impact on its Hawaii room reservations soon after the first week of the tour.

“We have successfully connected with these communities by being there in person to share the Hawaiian culture and our aloha spirit. It’s a high touch and high feel experience and people are responding to that,” he said.

Tatum credits key partnerships in making the tour a success, “We could not have succeeded without the participation of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, Hawaiian Airlines and Polynesian Cultural Center,” he said. “Marriott will continue to create opportunities like this for our hotels and with our partners across the state to keep bringing visitors to the Hawaiian Islands.”

The recent tour also visited Children’s Miracle Network hospitals in ten of the cities, where Polynesian Cultural Center performers entertained and taught hula dances to children, parents and hospital staff. Marriott Resorts Hawaii also donated vacation packages to the hospitals for their fund-raising drives. Marriott International has a 26-year relationship with the non-profit Children’s Miracle Network, and in Hawaii, Marriott Resorts Hawaii is a proud supporter of the Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women & Children.

Background
The company’s first ever Marriott’s Spirit of Aloha Tour launched in January 2009 on the U.S. West Coast with the Polynesian Cultural Center and former American Idol Top 10 finalist Camile Velasco of Maui. The original four-week, six-city tour was extended another two weeks to encompass an additional seven cities. The team journeyed 6,775 miles to the Midwest and East Coast to continue promoting Hawaii as a destination for leisure travelers and group meetings.

In October 2009, the bus tour continued its wave of success by visiting three key cities in Japan. The Spirit of Aloha Tour ambassador was Hawaii-born professional sumo wrestler Konishiki, who thrilled the world during a career that spanned from 1982 to 1997 before he retired with the second highest rank in Japan’s national sport.

Also participating in Marriott’s Spirit of Aloha Tour were Marriott executives and several sponsors: Polynesian Cultural Center, Hawaiian Airlines, Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau. The Japan tour sponsors were Japan Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Hawaii Tourism Japan and Polynesian Cultural Center.

All three tours are chronicled on Marriott Resorts Hawaii’s Spirit of Aloha blog at http://www.marriotthawaii.com/spiritofaloha, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC. (NYSE:MAR) is a leading lodging company with more than 3,400 lodging properties in 68 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, The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club, The Ritz-Carlton Residences 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, Maryland, USA and had approximately 137,000 employees at 2009 year-end. It is recognized by FORTUNE® as one of the best companies to work for, and by Newsweek as one of the greenest big companies in America. In fiscal year 2009, Marriott International reported sales from continuing operations of nearly $11 billion. For more information or reservations, please visit our web site at http://www.marriott.com and for the latest company news, visit http://www.marriottnewscenter.com.

Editor’s Note: Jpgs of Marriott’s Spirit of Aloha Tour, each resort and interviews with Chris Tatum available upon request.

For More Information, Contact:
Bernie Caalim or Noreen Kam
McNeil Wilson Communications
808-539-3423 or 808-539-3422

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Bernie Caalim
McNeil Wilson Communications
808-539-3422
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Noreen Kam
McNeil Wilson Communications
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