HONOLULU, HI (eTN) – A new company, scheduled to launch in spring 2009, is bringing a new approach to Hawaii`s visitor market: experiential vacations! In addition to enjoying the beautiful sand-sun-surf for which Hawaii is so well known, guests will soon be able to enjoy an experiential vacation based on core cultural concepts born out of ancient times. “Hawaii’s Cultural Connection, LLC (HCC) will offer a myriad of authentic services, programs, tours, and training geared to the savvy traveler interested in learning more about Hawaii’s unique, indigenous culture,” Denise Moreland, founder and president, said. “Our purpose and passion is to share the deeper meaning of ALOHA, with its many expressions, with Hawaii`s guests looking for a new and unusual way to experience our destination.”
For years, visitors to the Moreland home would ask what “that something special is about Hawaii?” As a malahini (newcomer) to Oahu in 1993, Moreland had no answer, but began discovering for herself the unique treasures living throughout this distant island chain. After almost 10 years of study and research of its unique history and people, she felt ready to share her findings. In 2003, her first company – TourTalk-Hawaii Nei, LLC – was launched on the shores of Waikiki, offering Oahu guests the first opportunity to “drive a circle island tour” called TourTalk-Oahu (visit www.tourtalkhawaii.com ). This two-time, award-winning audio tour, still available today, gives guests the chance to leave Waikiki and explore Oahu via its two CDs and full-color, 72-page booklet. Narrated by six of Hawaii’s beloved kupuna and historians, it’s the “one tour you take home with you to experience time and again!”
The years of research paid off for Moreland. Soon she began meeting Hawaiians who share her desire to bring “Aloha alive” in a unique way. Kupuna (wise elders), kumu hula (hula experts), cultural wellness practitioners, kumu lomi lomi (Hawaiian energy massage), teachers, and local musicians have joined with her to share their mana`o (knowledge; wisdom) with island-bound guests. For several years, she and her team have presented cultural basics to many Oahu destination specialists, a training program sponsored by the Oahu Visitor Bureau for travel professionals interested in learning more about this destination. As such, Moreland began realizing that people traveling to places with an indigenous culture want to learn about that culture… and Hawaii’s Cultural Connection was born.
The website, www.hawaiisculturalconnection.com , is being developed and, once launched, will offer guests in-house programs of cultural basics based on “living Aloha,” ancient and contemporary traditions of hula and lei, program tours that take guests to some of the most sacred sites, health and wellness programs, and site visits based on the Hawaiian understanding of “living life pono – in balance of mind-body-spirit.” As the company expands, new programs will be offered for family travel, customized group programs, in-house and on-line training for travel professionals seeking to learn to market Hawaii as a cultural destination, and more. Cultural services include Hawaiian weddings and vow renewals; blessing ceremonies for families, couples, and special events; and ashes ceremony for those wishing to remain in Hawaii.
Initially, Hawaii’s Cultural Connection programs will be offered on the Island of Oahu. Moreland will be meeting with other Island kupuna to extend the reach of sharing Aloha with our world! For more information on these cultural programs or how you can begin experiencing these one-of-a-kind programs and services for yourself, contact Moreland at: Hawaii’s Cultural Connection, P.O. Box 2488, Ewa Beach, HI 96706-4677; Phone: 808-685-0751; Fax: 808-685-0751; Mobile: 808-429-8687; Email: [էլեկտրոնային փոստով պաշտպանված] . HCC is a proud member of the newly-formed organization, Hawaii Tourism Association (HiTA), and Moreland serves on the executive committee.