Conference brings virtual reality to Hawaii tourism industry

A new concept is being introduced into the tourism industry here in Hawaii.

A virtual reality experience was unveiled for the first time at the 2016 Hawaii Tourism Conference.

Users are able to enjoy a unique 360-degree view of what a visit to Hawaii could entail, like paragliding over the open ocean or watching a hula performance.

It’s just one of many efforts to create new partnerships in the tourism industry that specifically target millennials.

“The thing about millennials is they like to go places where it’s all about authenticity and they are really very ecologically conscious and they want to go to places that protect our natural resources and Hawaii is perfect for that,” said George Szigeti, Hawaii Tourism Authority president and CEO.

The conference runs until Friday at the Hawaii Convention Center and features more than 60 sessions and special events, addressing topics like Hawaiian culture, environmental sustainability, education, and retail.

Szigeti says maintaining a balance between tourism and preserving Hawaii’s culture and natural resources is HTA’s top priority.

The conference also honored surfing legends Buffalo Keaulana and George Downing for their lifetime of contributions to the sport.

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