George Szigeti

May 1, 2013 | By Waikiki Magazine Team

President and CEO Hawai‘i Lodging and Tourism Association

Aloha Kakou,

It’s wonderful to see Waikiki full of happy visitors from all corners of the globe. For more than a century, travelers have been enthralled by our native Hawaiian culture and hospitality, basked in Waikiki’s sapphire waters and walked barefoot in the sand while trade winds stir the coconut fronds. This is the essence of Waikiki, and it hasn’t changed over time.

Today, on these beloved shores, the past and future are uniting in fresh and surprising ways as Waikiki has blossomed into a vibrant and cosmopolitan 21st-century playground.

World-class accommodations can be found at new and upgraded hotels, timeshares and condominiums. Nightlife is flourishing and culinary options abound from Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine to delicacies inspired by cultures from around the world.

Swaths of Waikiki beach have been widened. Kalakaua Avenue, with its multitude of designer stores, is mentioned in the same breath as Rodeo Drive and Fifth Avenue. The Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Aquarium are perfect for family outings. And there are exciting Jet Ski, parasailing and submarine explorations, as well as whale watching and romantic sunset cruises to be enjoyed. Take advantage of it all while you are here, because best of all, Waikiki offers options to suit every pocket book.

Coming up May 1 2 is the annual Lei Day Celebration, a two-day event held at Kapi‘olani Park next to Waikiki. Festivities include pageants and competitions for lei queen, and the making of colorful and fragrant flower lei. For more information, visit

Saturday, May 18 is our own Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association (HLTA) Visitor Industry Charity Walk, which raises funds for local charities. It’s a fun stroll from Ala Moana Beach Park through Waikiki and back. Participants enjoy food, drink and entertainment along the route. For more information and to register, visit

My suggestion? Slow down. Soak up some sun, splash around in the surf. Take an adventure or two, or shop and dine at your own speed. Meet local folks. Feel our warmth and spread aloha.