Newspaper & TV Coverage of “So Much More Hawaii” Tour

Well, the tour is over, and we’re all back in our respective homes. I’m back in New York City, and despite a couple days of rain, it’s sunny and spring-like again, and I’m revisiting all my fond memories of Hawaii. I still have quite a bit of material to release, which will be coming in little bits over the next few months. I’ll release more “Quick Bites” videos from my last few days on the Big Island and on Oahu this week, as well.

Our “little bloggers tour that could” has attracted some mainstream press as well! I was quoted as the lead in a story for the June 7th edition of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin:

“Chef Mark Tafoya, a celebrated foodie blogger, had to suffer the discomfort of a 4 a.m. wake-up call to catch a Honolulu sunrise and witness Honolulu’s fish auction.

But his followers could have the pleasure of a near-firsthand experience without the discomfort. They could watch Tafoya peruse fresh catch on his Web site,, or at the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s new blog site,, or follow it in real time on Twitter (a free social media site that lets users post and follow short, 140-word updates). They also could access content on video-sharing networks like YouTube, Revver, Vimeo, Viddler and Facebook.

“It’s hard to say how many people were tuned into my trip to Hawaii because they all share,” said Tafoya, who was one of eight bloggers who were invited to participate in the state’s first all social-media travel tour, which visited major islands from May 27 to Thursday.

While Tafoya has 1,000 followers on Facebook, 4,500 tweeple (Twitter people) and about 100,000 hits a month on his Web site, content sharing gets the message out to many more, he said.

“That’s what makes social media so powerful,” said Christine Lu, who organized the tour for the Hawaii Tourism Authority and is the founder of Cilantro Media, a social-media boutique firm.”

Christine Lu, is the force of nature whose ambition helped to make the tour possible, and who graciously thought to include me! She worked with her contacts at the Hawaii Tourism Authority to pitch the tour and convince the powers that be that the power of new media would be useful to help the HawaiiHTA promote the islands.

We were featured on the front page of the June 5th edition of the Pacific Business News, which quoted Christine and credited her for her work on the tour:

“Along for the ride with Lu were seven full-time bloggers from the Mainland (assisted by local blogger L. P. “Neenz” Faleafine) whose trips to Hawaii were paid for by the Hawaii Tourism Authority and its marketing partners.

The bloggers’ junket was the most ambitious experiment by the HTA to exploit social media. Desperate to drum up new business, Hawaii tourism executives are finding that TV commercials, ads in newspapers and magazines and morning talk show chatter — i.e., old media — are no longer enough.

The HTA sees new media and online social networking as cheap, effective ways to reach a highly desirable market of young, smart, adventurous, and relatively well-off vacationers.”

David Uchiyama, from the Hawaii Tourism Authority, was interviewed on KHON2 News in Honolulu about the tour, as well. The TV station’s website doesn’t offer it’s video player as an embeddable player, but you can see the video HERE, or click the image below.

You can read more coverage of what we did during the week, as well as blog posts from the other participants, at My links are all accesible in our HAWAII section in the “Travel & Places” drop down menu at the top of every CMN page.

Here’s all the other folks:

Aric S. Queen
A new-media producer focused on China who writes about value.

Leah Lamb
A San Francisco writer and producer at Current.

Sheila Scarborough
Travel writer from Austin, Texas, who specializes in the family market.

Christine Lu
Founder of Cilantro Media and self-proclaimed “Geek Girl.”

Rick Calvert, a conference/CEO specialist from Las Vegas, who founded Blog World Expo.

Shira Lazar, from Los Angeles, pop media star of, who is known for being a “getaway girl.”

Jim Turner, an adventure seeker from Firestone, Colo., who is the social media director of Blog World Expo.

L.P. “Neenz” Faleafine, a local blogger serving as a host and organizer and contributor of Hawaiian culture.

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