Media Coordinator FAM: Destination Education for the Japan Market

Maui Visitors & Convention Bureau

Situation

Conducted a series of FAM tours in the Fall and Spring and invited a total of 13 local-based Japanese media coordinators and writers to experience Maui Nui to learn first-hand of the island’s offerings to help educate them for pitching story angles to their media partners.

Challenge

Desire to attract visitors from Japan by promoting Maui Nui in print, web and social media. Due to lack of direct-flights from Japan and less interest of Maui compared with other neighbor islands, MVCB relies on us to spread the word on why Japanese visitors should go to Maui and what differentiates it from other neighbor islands.
 

Action

To bring more awareness and media coverage to Maui Nui from Japan, a series of media coordinator FAM tours were conducted.

Only the top and most influential coordinators were invited to participate.

The media from Japan rely on these coordinators to recommend and suggest locations and story angles for their features. So besides educating the group on what Maui Nui has to offer, it was just as important to strengthen relations with them, and this was the perfect outlet to help achieve that.

We developed an itinerary based on what would appeal to Japanese media and visitors. The invite list was narrowed down to six guests, which consisted of media coordinators, freelance writers and social media influencers, and flew them to Maui all expenses paid.

Accommodations were secured and hosted at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa and Wailea Beach Resort.

The group was taken to various popular spots on Maui including a helicopter tour of the island, lunch at Maui Brewing Co, sunrise tour at Haleakala, Iao Valley State Park, a private tour of Maui Ocean Center, tour and tasting at Maui Wine, a guided tour and picnic lunch at Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm, a whale watch excursion, resort inspection at The Ritz-Carlton Kapaula and Montage Kapalua, and exploration of Makawao.

The FAM was documented on video by our team member for use on social media and for MVCB and a survey was sent to the participants post FAM to get their feedback and suggestions.

Results

The FAMs resulted in a total AVE of $140K+ with a reach of over 1.8 million. Based on survey results 100% of the group expressed their satisfaction of the FAM and felt that it was beneficial. There have already been some leads and opportunities for media coverage for Maui from the coordinators.

So far, as a direct result of the FAM, Maui was featured in a number of media including a 10-page feature in Resort Golf Magazine and on popular travel site CREA Web, in addition to numerous posts on social media by the influencers and coordinators that participated in the FAM tours.

We will continue to contribute any materialized media coverage that was generated by the FAM participants.

Satisfaction of the client resulted in continuing the FAM and to expand to writers and editors from Japan.