Honolulu Festival's Watanabe guest speaker at HTA's 2009 Festivals and Events Seminar on May 15

Festivals are very important to Hawaii year round. Not only do they attract the local residents, creating activities and opportunities to have fun and learn new things, but they add to the visitor experience. The Honolulu Festival Foundation is proud to be part of the annual calendar of events in Hawaii. The Hawaii Tourism Authority, better known as HTA, puts on a seminar once a year for those who are interested in learning the latest about putting on festivals and events. This year's seminar was held at the Hawaii Convention Center on May 17. The topic was "Re-Invention for Changing Market Needs." The main speaker was John "Mitch" Dorger, CEO of the Tournament of Roses, held in Pasadena each New Year's Day. He talked about the challenges of managing change and staying ahead of the market. There was also a very informative and positive presentation regarding sponsorship by Sylvia Allen.

One of the keynote speeches during lunch was presented by Tatsuo Watanabe, Secretary of the Honolulu Festival Foundation and General Manager of Customer Service for JTB Hawaii, Inc. He talked about "Market Demand for Cultural Tourism: East-West Perspectives on Festivals." I am sure that the topic was of interest to many in the audience. The Honolulu Festival has been successful in bringing participants and spectators to Hawaii from Japan, other Pacific Rim countries and the mainland U.S. for fifteen years.
It is important that all of those involved in organizing festivals in Hawaii continue to improve and change based on the needs of the current market. Every effort counts particularly during today's economy. Aloha.

Honolulu Festival