HONOLULU (KHON2) — Dozens of business and tourism officials from the Greater Bay Area were in Honolulu to strengthen cultural and economic ties between the two destinations.

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The forum is not focused on the San Francisco Bay area, but on the region that includes some of China’s most innovative financial centers.

The Special Administration Regions, produce nearly 30% of China’s exports. The cities include Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Foshan and other manufacturing centers. They see business opportunities in Hawaii, and one of those businesses is tourism.

“The Chinese market, they’re the highest market. We’ve tracked our statistics and consistently year over year post COVID, the Chinese market was always the highest spending market.”

James Tokioka, State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism Director

With the future of Maui tourism still a sensitive subject, how does the state promote Maui as a destination to the Asian market?

“Trying to get the Japanese, Chinese and Korean market was a challenge before the fire,” said Tokioka. “We know a lot of reservations got canceled have told us they’ve this year out of respect for the families and island but they will be coming back and that is a good sign.”

While state officials would like to lure the Chinese yuan, Japanese yen and South Korean won,
The most attractive currency for the Hong Kong GBA is the chip.

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“Macau which is the largest most prominent gaming center in the world with an income six times that of Las Vegas,” said Daniel Fung, Hong Kong Strategic Development Commission. “Now that we are living post COVID situation also look forward to more visitors from our part of the world to this paradise Hawaii.”