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Suggesting that something should be done to glamourise' New Zealand for the tourist, a writer in the Commerce Journal draws a comparison between Hawaii and the Dominion and discusses the methods by which the "Honolulu legend" has been built up,

'For many years most New Zealanders have been indifferent to the potentialities of the tourist trade," ne says. "They have regarded English visitors as rather boring, Americans with suspicion, and the Australians as just one of those things which had to be put up with.

"But the time has come when it is vitally necessary that every New Zealander should sit up and take an active interest in what can become one of our largest industries. The American forces in New Zealand and our own men in Canada and the United States have given us more and better publicity than we have ever had before and modern transport brings us daily closer to other nations.

"To get some idea as to how we should go about getting and keeping this trade, I intend in a few words to sketch the position of Hawaii. . . .

The legend of Honolulu has been spread throughout the world, assisted by glowing photographs, tantalising music, the movies and Bing Crosby. The traveller to Hawaii sets foot on the ship already prepared by excellent publicity and during the voyage is courted with Hawaiian dishes, music, gay menus and colourful leaflets.

"The liner ties up at the Aloha quay, a white cement wharf with a green tiled roof, while an official band and chorus sings 'Sweet Leilani' and 'Song of the Islands.' Representatives of the various hotels come on board and bestow sweetly perfumed leis on the new arrivals. A walk across the width of the building only and one is on the street, in a taxi, and driving to Waikiki.

v Hibiscus and Hula Girls "Beauty and greenery abound, and the first glimpse of the ornate pink Royal Hawaiian Hotel is breathtaking, then Waikiki Beach lies before one, alternately blue and green, with Diamond Head in the distance. Shops built like houses, theatres that look like Wintergardens, more Hawaiian music and dishes preserve the atmosphere. Pineapple juice is on tap at the canneries, the saops feature native prints, bathing suits and ornaments. Anything can be obtained that is available in the United States, but the local motive is made to predominate. The traveller leaves the islands saturated in propaganda, covered in leis of hibiscus, to the rich strains of 'Aloha,' with thrilling memories of surf riders and hula girls. Boiled down, the whole thing is a terrific piece of ballyhoo.

"For the most part the greenery can be equalled anywhere, every piece of sand on Waikiki beach has been carted and dumped there, and Diamond Head is in no way more outstanding or unusual than Rangitoto. The rest is cement, dyes, paint, wise planning and shrewd publicity. We can do it here, not by apeing the English or the Americans, but by concentrating on an atmosphere typically New Zealand. We need better berthage facilities for passenger liners, first-class hotels, efficient transport, the co-operation of commercial interests, and plenty of foresight. What are we going to do about it?"

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Bibliographic details

'HONOLULU-LEGEND', Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 170, 20 July 1945

Word Count

'HONOLULU-LEGEND' Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 170, 20 July 1945

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