Hawaii Tourism Authority breaks the mold with a bloggers fam tour

Sat, May 30, 2020

Events, Featured, Just for Fun, Social Media

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bloggers-in-paradise-kauai-300x225The “fam tour” or “familiarization tour” is standard practice by which tourism boards and Convention and Visitor’s Bureaus (CVBs) introduce their destinations to media people.

In the past, such tours have been filled with only print and broadcast media representatives. Not any more.

One example in progress right now is the “So Much More Hawaii” fam tour just for bloggers; it’s sponsored by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA.)

I’m on the tour covering mostly family travel, and other blogging specialists include:

  • Rick Calvert, founder, Blog World and New Media Expo – a huge annual blogging conference.  He’ll cover the islands as a business and convention destination.
  • Leah Lamb, covering eco-tourism and green travel for Current TV. I know she must be intrigued by Hawaii’s recent efforts to invest in clean and renewable energy resources.
  • Jim Turner, OneByOne Media and host of the Social Mediasphere show on Blog Talk Radio.
  • Shira Lazar, blogging on solo travel for, the pop culture travel guide.
  • Aric S. Queen, producer, writer, podcaster and value travel blogger for the UpTake travel site.
  • Mark Tafoya, our tour foodie blogger. He’s a professional chef and co-founder of the Culinary Media Network.
  • L.P. “Neenz” Faleafine, a native Hawaiian, Chief Evangelist for and founder of Hawaii-basedPono Media.

As we all know, the economy is down around the world. The Hawaii tourism industry is in crisis right now andthe outlook is grim.

By some standards, this social media outreach could be considered a risky move by the HTA, but I think it’s simply smart.

I applaud this major tourism organization for seeking new, more effective ways to use social media to showcase the islands for potential visitors.

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This post was written by:

Sheila Scarborough - who has written 31 posts on Every Dot Connects.

I'm a writer and speaker specializing in tourism,travel and social media. Co-founder of Tourism Currents.

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5 Comments For This Post

  1. Lori Says:

    What a great idea. As a travel writer (and blogger), I’m glad to hear that this type of trip is happening. Blogs are such a huge part of travel research: I know I read them when I’m planning trips and can ask questions/post comments to get the most up-to-date info.

    Way to go Hawaii!

  2. Donna DeClemente Says:

    Hey, not a bad gig at all. Going to Hawaii and blogging. What more could you ask for!

  3. Sheila Scarborough Says:

    Hi Donna, It IS working out rather well. :)

    Hi Lori, Yes, this shift seems inevitable to me, and what we produce in Blog posts, Twitpics, Flickr photos, Facebook uploads, Stumbles, etc. lasts forever. I think online content is undervalued because some still don’t understand how persistent it is compared to print.

  4. Kara Rosner Says:

    We agree… bloggers are a crucial component to any media outreach initiatives and we value the exposure they can provide. We’ve actually done blogger/online media trips in the past as well - with great success. Perhaps you can join me one of these trips in the near future!

  5. Maggie Says:

    Great to see how social media is helping the tourism industry! Thanks for sharing this!