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The Islands of Hawaii

McNeil Wilson Communications
Rebecca Pang
Senior Account Supervisor
(808) 539-3424
Email: Rebecca.Pang@anthologygroup.com

For Immediate Release

March 06, 2014

GOOGLE STREET VIEW TREKKER IMAGERY ENHANCES USER EXPERIENCE ON GOHAWAII.COM AND GOOGLE MAPS

Virtually explore Hawaii's popular hiking trails, parks, historial sites and beaches
After embarking on the first-of-its-kind partnership last summer to visually showcase the Hawaiian Islands’ natural beauty like never before, the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) and Google Maps today unveiled brand new, 360-degree images gathered by the Google Street View Trekker on Google Maps and Hawaii’s vacation planning website GoHawaii.com.

Google Maps users can now explore a variety of Hawaii’s most popular hiking trails, parks, historical sites, and beaches on Hawaii, the Big Island and Oahu, before stepping foot on them, including Akaka Falls State Park, Diamond Head State Monument, Hapuna Beach State Park, Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Kau Forest Reserve, Waimanalo Beach, Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, and many more. This is part of an ongoing project that will eventually cover all six Hawaiian Islands.

“We’ve enjoyed a fantastic partnership with Google in this exciting journey to bring the unique experiences of the Hawaiian Islands closer to the consumer in a fun and interactive way,” said John Monahan, HVCB’s president and CEO. “The panoramic imagery now available on our GoHawaii.com website serves an integral role in the vacation planning process. I’m confident those visiting our site will enjoy the enhanced features which technically puts them in the middle of destination experiences only found here in Hawaii.”

The initial phase of the project began in July 2013 on Hawaii, the Big Island with Kailua-Kona-based eco-tourism company Hawaii Forest and Trail mapping out the first set of 15 trails.

“It was great to hit the trails on Hawaii Island with a new mission and purpose,” said Rob Pacheco, president and founder of Hawaii Forest and Trail, whose company hiked a total of 68.4 miles with the Trekker. “Normally when we’re in the field we are focused on the here and now,’ but capturing images with the Trekker added much more depth to our time on the trails. We had to consider lighting, incline, weather (especially rain) and terrain. In addition to being a guide, we also got to play director, producer and cinematographer.”

Right now, GoHawaii.com features a special page giving visitors the option to “Explore the Parks and Trails of Hawaii, the Big Island.” More content will be added to the site over time as new imagery becomes available.

On the island of Oahu, trained teams from the State of Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources and HVCB are handling the trekking and photo capturing. The imagery will also eventually be integrated into the Division of State Parks website.

“Google Trekker imagery is a terrific value-added virtual experience that we can offer the public,” said Curt Cottrell, assistant administrator of the Division of State Parks at the Department of Land and Natural Resources. “We’re looking forward to continuing this innovative collaboration and capturing a variety of different sites and hikes across the state.”

More information about the Trekker initiative on Hawaii Island and Oahu is available on Google’s Long Lat blog.

For more information about visiting the Hawaiian Islands and to begin planning your vacation, visit GoHawaii.com.

-pau-

PHOTOGRAPHY AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST: Please contact Lei-Ann Field at McNeil Wilson Communications via email – lei-ann.field@anthologygroup.com – for assistance.

About HVCB

The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau is contracted by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the state of Hawaii’s tourism agency, for marketing management services in North America. The HTA was established in 1998 to ensure a successful visitor industry well into the future. Its mission is to strategically manage Hawaii tourism in a sustainable manner consistent with the state of Hawaii’s economic goals, cultural values, preservation of natural resources, community desires, and visitor industry needs. For more information about the Hawaiian Islands, visit gohawaii.com.