Travel to Hawaii is increasing after a slowdown the past couple of years. That's just one of the causes for celebration at Hawaii-Aloha Travel's annual appreciation event, which included prizes, entertainment and a wonderful meal shared in a spirit of enthusiasm.
The HAT agents, business partners and friends gathered last night were also treated to a musical feast, provided by Makana's slack-key guitar and vocals, percussion from Gerardo Velez and human beatbox Jason Tom.
Makana performed some of his favorite compositions, but also ranged over blues and classic rock. The addition of Velez both complimented and challenged Makana. Velez has played with industry giants, most famously with Jimmy Hendrix at Woodstock. Velez and Makana collaborated on a Hendrix-inspired rendition of "All Along the Watchtower" that easily matched the intensity of the original.
The musical performances followed comments from Hawaii hotel operators and Hawaii Aloha Travel's wholesale travel partner, Blue Sky Tours. Representatives from Aqua Hotels and Resorts, Aston Hotels and Resorts and Outrigger Hotels and Resorts thanked HAT agents for their part in this year's increased room night bookings. So far this year, Hawaii visitors have spent 36,000 nights in the top tier of hotels booked by Hawaii Aloha Travel.
For the agents, it is a chance to see one another in person and catch up. The agents work from home, so they enjoyed the chance to talk story, as well as meeting family members. HAT welcomed three new agents recently, so this was everyone's chance to get acquainted.
HAT founders and co-owners Bruce and Yaling Fisher awarded highly-customized certificates to each agent, and handed out many prizes for food, spa treatments and room stays. Even though we live in Hawaii, it is fun to check out new places and parts of the islands.
Bruce Fisher also acknowledged the success of the Hawaii Vacation blog, thanking its bloggers, and the man who created and keeps the HAT website functioning. As usual, Bruce worked for most of the evening as master of ceremonies and live-streaming video, although Makana turned the camera on him during the introductions.
Finally, at the end of the evening, with thanks and appreciation bestowed, Bruce and Yaling had time for a dance. Bruce said, "So proud of our team and what we have accomplished this year, this was truly a night to remember."
Bruce and Yaling Fisher founded Hawaii Aloha Travel in 2001 and now employ 14 agents who are experts on Hawaii travel.
November 14th, 2010