Ask a Honolulu Expert: Meet Susie Fujikawa, Travelocity’s Hawaii Market Manager
Editor’s Note: Periodically, we’ll be featuring a Q&A with our resident destination experts at Travelocity, the Travelocity market managers. Market managers are locals to their destination and experts on everything and anything related to tourism in their markets. Please welcome them to The Window Seat.
Aloha! My name is Susie Fujikawa and I’m the Market Manager for Travelocity based in Honolulu on the island of Oahu. I’ve been with Travelocity for more than five years. Some of my favorite activities and hobbies include hiking, boxing, reading, cooking, wine tasting, dining experiences and just about any outdoor activity. I am excited to be able to share my destination with you! So climb aboard my virtual canoe and here we go! I hope to welcome you to my destination soon! Or as we say in Hawaii, “E Komo Mai!” (Welcome).
The world famous Waikiki Beach and the famous Diamond Head in the back ground, taken from the 30th floor of a restaurant at the Sheraton Waikiki.
TWS: If you had to pick just one thing that makes Oahu special, what is it and why?
SF: Aside from being one of the top destinations in the world, not just Honolulu, but the state of Hawaii, the one thing that makes this place so special and magical is the people. We have something called, “The Aloha Spirit” that is not just an attitude in how we treat visitors like family, but it is a way of life. Once you experience it, it never leaves you.
TWS: For someone who is visiting Oahu for the first time, what are the can’t-miss attractions / experiences and what could they skip if they have limited time?
SF: The Island of Oahu, which is also known by locals as “the gathering place,” has everything you can possibly imagine to do. From the energy of the city for shopping, nightlife and entertainment, to a rain forest, and some of the best surf spots in the world, such as the world-famous, Waimea Bay. Some definite “must sees” on in Honolulu and the island of Oahu are: 1) Visit the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, 2) Take a drive to the beautiful north shore (scenic drive) and home of Waimea Bay, a famous surf spot for only the most experienced surfer; phenomenal waves in the winter, 3) Hike Diamond Head, which is a famous backdrop for postcard pictures of Waikiki, 4) Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, 5) Take a surf lesson or canoe surfing ride on the famous Waikiki Beach with the Waikiki Beach Boys.
TWS: What’s the secret to getting a deal on Honolulu hotels?
SF: Over 70 percent of bookings for Hawaii are made as vacations packages, so hotel partners are always offering better discounts when you book air plus hotel. At times, over 50 percent off for a hotel room!
TWS: Tell us your number-one favorite restaurant in Honolulu and what menu item a visitor has to try.
SF: I love dining out and have experienced some amazing cuisine right here at home! One of my favorite restaurants is Sansei, in Honolulu it is located in Waikiki at the Waikiki Beach Marriott. If you love fish, the sushi there is AMAZING! My favorite dish to order is the Hamachi Kama. But anything you order there will be heavenly!
TWS: Do you know the Roaming Gnome personally? What is his favorite thing about Oahu?
SF: I know and love our Travelocity Roaming Gnome! We are long time friends. He came to visit me in Hawaii in 2009 and we had a blast! He visited all the islands, but on Oahu, he had a blast driving the scenic route to the North Shore, visiting a turtle sanctuary, surfing Waikiki and eating a rainbow shaved ice (mainlanders call this a snow cone) in the surf town of Haleiwa.
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From time to time, the Window Seat publishes articles and blog posts written by guest authors to give you a fresh perspective on the world of travel.