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Outrigger emphasizes family fun with its new Island Explorertm Program

HONOLULU, OAHU, HAWAII -- Outrigger Hotels & Resorts has launched a new series of programs geared toward families vacationing in Hawaii. Outrigger’s Island Explorertm program will encourage parents and children to discover together Hawaii’s unique natural environment. At the same time, Outrigger has introduced a new children’s activity program in a lively surf shop setting at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach.

The Growing Importance of Family Travel

According to Rob Solomon, Outrigger’s senior vice president of sales and marketing, Outrigger’s family programs emphasize activities that parents can enjoy along with their kids.

"We believe that many people look at travel today as a way to renew family bonds. They spend too much time working and consider a vacation a perfect opportunity to spend real time with their loved ones. Hawaii is a great place to do that," Solomon said.

Solomon noted that family travel is no longer limited to the traditional summer season. According to a recent national survey,* roughly half the parents with school-aged children are willing to pull their kids out of classes for a vacation. Also, the trend toward year-round schooling on the US Mainland has resulted in shorter summer vacations and additional breaks during the spring and fall, when it’s less crowded and less expensive to visit Hawaii.

"Family travel doesn’t have to be limited only to the summer months and holidays," Solomon said. "That’s why we’re offering year-round programming with an emphasis on family learning. We want parents to feel that a vacation to Hawaii is an enriching experience for the whole family."

Island Explorertm Program

Emphasizing "family learning" while on vacation

When staying a minimum of three nights, kids 5 through 13 receive a FREE interactive Island Explorertm Kit upon check-in that includes a series of Discovery Guides that help parents and kids explore and learn about various aspects of Hawaii on self-guided excursions. Produced in cooperation with theoutrigger8.jpg (92900 bytes) Curriculum Research & Development Group at the University of Hawaii, these guides feature activities centered around a variety of themes, among them "Exploring the Shoreline" and "Exploring the Mountains and Forests."

Exploring the Shoreline, for example, is intended as a morning walk along the beach. Activities include observing the tides and the sky; analyzing the sand and the seaweed, rocks, shells, coral and other items found on it; and noting the colors, smells, sounds and movement of the ocean. All the Discovery Guide activities are done at sites that are readily accessible, easy to understand, and don’t require any special materials or equipment.

The Island Explorertm kit also includes a range of kid-oriented items, including a multi-colored activity pack, pen with compass, mini-binoculars and sunglasses. The kit also includes a copy of Outrigger’s family travel guide on CD-ROM. The CD-ROM has been recently upgraded to include new audio elements, additional video clips and links to Outrigger’s website.

 

A special family newsletter for in-house guest will be offered shortly, listing current activities and events that are well suited for families. "It will be a valuable resource for our customers, providing tips and suggestions that encourage parents and kids to interact with each other, learn something about Hawaii and have a fun time doing it," Solomon said.

Surf’s up at the new Cowabunga Kids Clubsm

In addition to the new Island Explorertm program, Outrigger has introduced a new children’s activity program on Oahu. Kids staying with Outrigger Hotels & Resorts in Waikiki can now enjoy a special activity program with a surfing theme and an emphasis on discovering the natural wonders of Hawaii. Located at the beachfront Outrigger Reef hotel and available to all Outrigger guests, the new Cowabunga Kids Clubsm offers children’s activity programs from 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. daily in a lively clubhouse with a surf shop decor.

Kids ages 5 through 13 enjoy a range of activities in the clubhouse, as well as field trips around Oahu in a dedicated Cowabunga Kids Clubtm van. The schedule changes daily and includes activities such as lei-making, ceramic painting,outrigger4.jpg (72182 bytes) kayaking, and canoe rides. Excursions include visits to such popular locations, such as the Waikiki Aquarium, Atlantis Submarines, Honolulu Zoo, Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park and Kualoa Ranch.

"We have created a fun and unusual clubhouse where kids can come and enjoy themselves," Solomon said. "We don’t see this  as a just another form of child care, a place to drop off the kids while mom and dad do something else. outrigger7.jpg (121770 bytes) We want the Cowabunga Kids Clubtm to be a special treat for the kids, a special part of their Hawaii vacation." Solomon added that Outrigger intends to expand the Cowabunga Kids Clubtm to its Neighbor Island resorts within the next 12 months.

The Cowabunga Kids Clubtm facility has already proven popular with participants. In addition to the clubhouse itself, which is modeled after an island surf boutique, the facility also includes four of the latest iMac computers with full Internet access, as well as a range of computer games.

The full-day program costs $50 and includes lunch, snacks, excursion entry fees, transportation and an exclusive Cowabunga Kids Clubtm T-shirt. For advance reservations, call the Cowabunga Kids Clubtm at the Outrigger Reef at (808) 923-3111.

The Outrigger Reef is also hosting a series of summer activity programs designed for parents and children to experience together. Call the Cowabunga Kids Clubtm for more information or visit Outrigger’s family travel website.

Outrigger Hotels & Resorts is a division of Hawaii-based Outrigger Enterprises, Inc., the largest lodging company in Hawaii and one of the fastest growing lodging companies in the Pacific. Outrigger currently operates or has under development 35 hotels and resort condominiums throughout the Pacific region, representing more than 10,000 hotel rooms and condominium units in Hawaii, Micronesia, Australia and the South Pacific. Outrigger's affiliate, Outrigger Lodging Services, manages nearly two dozen hotels and resorts throughout the U.S. mainland.

For reservations or information, call your preferred travel professional or Outrigger Hotels & Resorts toll-free at 1-800-OUTRIGGER (1-800-688-7444) within the U.S., Guam and Canada. Outrigger’s toll-free number also is available internationally via AT&T’s new Direct 800© Service. Elsewhere call 303-369-7777. 

For other family programs offered at Outrigger Hotels and Resorts go to Outrigger's Family Friendly Certification Program

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