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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, July 21, 2001

Isle educational tours to get buildup in Japan

Advertiser Staff

The state is organizing a weeklong trade mission to Japan this fall as part of an effort to support and build educational tours to Hawai'i.

"As a means to promote cross-cultural awareness, overseas school excursions have increased recently among public and private schools in Japan," said Seiji Naya, director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

More than 12,000 students came to Hawai'i from Japan last year, an increase of 50 percent over the previous year, as part of organized school excursions, according to the state agency.

That number is expected to top 20,000 in the near future, representing a potential $31 million boost to the state's economy, said Naya.

The trade mission, scheduled Sept. 8-15, will target the Tokyo and Osaka markets. Educational specialists and tourism and activities representatives will have the opportunity to promote Hawai'i schools and programs at meetings and forums, and to meet with government and school officials and travel professionals.

The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism has partnered for the mission with the Hawai'i Tourism Authority, the Hawai'i Visitors & Convention Bureau, the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce and the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i.

The chamber is handling registration. Participating organizations will be charged $350; deadline for registration is Aug. 1. More information can be obtained by calling Dennis Ling at 587-2755 or by e-mailing dling@dbedt.hawaii.gov.