Airline CEO: Hawaii isn't Chinese-friendly

Discussion in 'Hawaiian Airlines | HawaiianMiles' started by gregm, Apr 26, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    The CEO of Hawaiian Airlines says Hawaii's hospitality industry must do more to make Chinese visitors feel welcome.

    Mark Dunkerley told a retailers' convention on Thursday that the state is unprepared for the potential number of Chinese visitors the state could receive. A survey found that Chinese visitors do not see Hawaii as a friendly destination, he said.


    Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/04/25/hawaii-not-chinese-friendly/8170981/
     
  2. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    C'mon, does every restaurant, hotel and tour guide in Hawaii need to have fluent Mandarin-speaking staff to bring in Chinese tourists? I recall visiting Hawaii decades ago, when the islands did everything to attract Japanese tourists. This does not mean that every potential place the Japanese might visit had fluent Japanese-speaking staff. As the Japanese economy fell, fewer Japanese now visit the islands. But Hawaii is still a significant tourist destination for the Japanese. Heck, Hawaiian Airlines has increased their flight numbers and destinations to Japan in response to this economic reality.

    Hawaiian Airlines wants to increase their flights to China and bring more Chinese tourists to Hawaii! FWIW, two major things drive the economy in Hawaii, tourism and US government spending. Chinese visitors to Hawaii will increase if the Chinese economy permits it with continued growth. And more residents in Hawaii who work in the tourism industry will take Mandarin courses to cater to these tourists. It's not rocket science. Hawaii has an incredible history of immigrant contributions from many Asian nations, including China, Japan, the Philippines, Samoa, etc. If Hawaiian Airlines is serious, they need to involve the many Chinese associations already existing in Hawaii in such an effort to make it work.

    But the Hawaiian Airlines CEO crying about Hawaii not being "Chinese-friendly" smacks of the one viable airline in Hawaii asking for a government subsidy. Does Hawaii really need to build lower priced hotels, as indicated in this article? What will it then become?
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2014
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  3. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    In all fairness, one take-away from last years HNL trip was that many of the local grocery stores also accepted Japanese Yen for payment. Never did see a store accepting Chinese Yuan.
     
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  4. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Plenty of Russian-speaking tourists also visit Hawaii. I don't think that they can easily spend their rubles at the local grocery stores. But I do know merchants in Hawaii who speak Russian!
     
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  5. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    I didn't read it as him asking for a government subsidy per se, I read it as him wanting someone else to do the heavy lifting for him/HA. Granted, that could take the form of a government subsidy, but I didn't see him as asking specifically for that.
     
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  6. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    Too many fake RMB floating around?
     
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  7. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    It's coming...
     
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  8. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    China has Sanya after all.. their own version of Hawaii :
     
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  9. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    Maybe the large military presence in HI has something to do with it?
     
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  10. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Chinese military? :D
     
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  11. HiIslands
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    HiIslands Silver Member

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    When Hawaiian Airlines cancelled its service between HNL-TPE, Mark Dukerley blamed "lack of awareness of Hawaii" on the part of the Taiwanese. Now he is saying the mainland Chinese do not see Hawaii as a friendly destination.

    His solution, to build more low budget hotels and train store clerks and restaurant staff in Mandarin, is unrealistic and mis-directed. To start, I think it is safe to say that the people of Hawaii do not envision a future where the Islands are teeming with mainland Chinese tourists. Additionally, based on real estate costs, utility costs, labor costs, etc., building low budget hotels is not economically viable.

    Hawaiian Airlines has expanded internationally by adding several non-performing routes; (Fukuoka, Taipei, and Manila). Is he now preparing us for a poor performance on the Beijing route? When these routes do not generate adequate revenue Mr. Dunkerley does not seem to take personal responsibility for the decision. Perhaps he and his staff should be more introspective. For example:
    • Hawaiian Airlines is not part of any alliance. Why should frequent flyers rack up huge mileage balances on Hawaiian by flying these long international routes?
    • Hawaiian Airlines upgrades for international flights are notoriously difficult to snag. Why would people who fly these international routes regularly want to resign themselves to flying coach all the time?
    • The seats on Hawaiian Airlines are not great; even in business class. They are only 18.5" wide and only recline. Why fly from HNL to Beijing in a seat like this when there are many better options available?
    I could go on, but bottom line, Hawaiian should scrutinize its product rather than cast blame.
     
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