Hawaii Meetings Industry Prepares for APEC

With less than a month to go until opening day, Hawaii's meetings industry says it's fully prepared to showcase its capabilities during the 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders' Meeting (APEC), taking place Nov. 7-13 in Honolulu, according to the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB).

"Hosting APEC 2011 is an unprecedented opportunity for the people of Hawaii," said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA). "For one week in November, the eyes of the world will be on Hawaii. And the world will experience the Aloha Spirit and our famous island hospitality. But more importantly, the world will see that Hawaii is rich with innovation, business successes and opportunities for investment. The HTA remains committed to working with the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau and the Hawaii Convention Center to position our state as a global meetings destination."

Up to 20,000 international delegates from the 21 countries that make up the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) — a group that's dedicated to promoting free trade and economic cooperation throughout the Pacific Rim, encompassing member countries such as Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Russia and the United States, among others — are expected to attend the meeting, which is the first APEC meeting to take place in the United States since 1993.

"The world knows Hawaii as a dream vacation destination, but APEC will show that our islands are an ideal setting for hosting serious business meetings, and especially adept when it comes to gatherings involving international interests," said HVCB President and CEO John Monahan. "Our meetings industry is primed to show APEC's delegates the very best of Hawaii in satisfying all of their demands and logistical needs to successfully get business done."

Hawaii's meetings industry has been undergoing extensive preparations for APEC for months. Those preparations have included improvements at hotels and meeting venues and training for hospitality personnel — including at the Hawaii Convention Center, which will host ministerial and business meetings during APEC, and will also serve as the media center for approximately 2,000 international journalists.

"Hawaii is uniquely positioned to serve as a location of shared convenience between North America and Asia, putting us at the crossroads of culture, geography and business," said Joe Davis, SMG general manager of the Hawaii Convention Center. "Our diversity, industry leadership, world-class facilities and our genuine Aloha Spirit make Hawaii an unbeatable place to meet across multiple disciplines."

For more information about APEC 2011 Hawaii, visit www.apec2011Hawaii.com.