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Hawaii-Korea inter-tourism forum pushes for more

November 24, 2015
The 5th Hawaii-Korea Inter-Tourism Forum was held Friday inside the Waikiki Resort Hotel.

The 5th Hawaii-Korea Inter-Tourism Forum was held Friday inside the Waikiki Resort Hotel. (Photo courtesy of Travel Press)

By The Korea Times Hawaii staff

A Hawaii-Korea inter-tourism forum last week pushed for increased exchange between the two areas.

In recent years, South Koreans have been buying up Hawaiian property — golf courses, hotels, luxury condos — and are set to introduce the low-cost airline Jin Air to the state soon.

A number of key influencers, including Governor David Ige, Lotte Tour President Baek Hyun, Hawaii tourism department Korean representative Kim Eun-mi and John Jackson, a Korean Air director, attended the forum Friday to discuss cooperative tactics.

Baek said he expects growth in the number of Korean families and large groups visiting Hawaii.

Kim emphasized the importance of social media in promoting travel-related products and offers.

According to Kim, tourism from South Korea to Hawaii has increased by 400 percent in the last 10 years. Although numbers continue to tick upward, she said, the travel industry is struggling to find effective methods to integrate the tourism experience with online and social media marketing.

Ige said he expects the arrival of Jin Air to boost Hawaii-Korea exchange even further.

The event was put on by Travel Press, a South Korean publication that began the forum in 2010 in celebration of its 30th anniversary.

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