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Kauai Magazine Only Approved Magazine in Kaua'i Made Program


Lihue, HI - August 2006 - Officials with the Office of Economic Development (OED) launched a new program in July, designed to benefit individuals and companies who specialize in making and retailing Kaua'i products. Kauai Magazine, published on Kauai since 1980, is the only approved magazine and a charter member of the Kaua'i Made Program.

On July 28, 2006, after a year of planning, the Kaua'i Made website www.kauaimade.net launched with listings of 73 local businesses who have been issued Kaua'i Made permits. The list includes product makers, retailers who carry "permitted" product(s), and some businesses who are both product makers and retailers.

"We are very proud of this collection of high quality and authentic Kaua'i Made products," said Kauai Mayor Bryan Baptiste. "The response has been overwhelmingly positive and we can only see this program growing over time."

Kauai Magazine is working closely with Kauai's OED Director Beth Tokioka to expand the marketing and promotion of the Kaua'i Made program to its Kauai-based and mainland annual readership of nearly 1 million plus its web audience of 3.7 million unique users per year. Kauai Magazine will provide marketing support in print and online at www.kauaimagazine.com and www.bestplaceshawaii.com to showcase both Kaua'i Made-approved vendors and retailers. Kauai Magazine is spotlighting the Kaua'i Made Program in the magazine's annual "Island Shopping & Gifts" Special Edition appearing in the November-December 2006 issue.

"We are happy to be involved with Beth Tokioka and her Kaua'i Made team. Kauai Magazine has been evangelical about promoting Kauai since its 1980 inception, so we are glad to support such a Kauai-centric program," said Kauai Magazine publisher Rob Sanford. "We are proud to have Kauai Magazine contribute to the combined efforts of Beth Tokioka, Kauai Visitors Bureau's Sue Kanoho, and the HTA to make this program a long-lasting success story."

Those interested in the Kaua'i Made Program can contact OED Director Beth Tokioka at 808-241-6303. For information on Kauai Magazine, contact Janie Young, 800-835-0583.

Kaua'i Made Program

Program Genesis
The Kaua'i Made program came about after Mayor Bryan J. Baptiste posed a challenge to OED Director Beth Tokioka in the summer of 2003.

"The mayor wanted Kaua'i to have a program similar to the successful Mountain Apple brand of products found in KTA stores on the Big Island," said Tokioka. "He felt that this would give locally made products visibility and encourage the production of value-added agricultural products."

After months of research and development, the Kaua'i Made program was created and funding for the program was provided by the Hawai'i Tourism Authority and the county.
In December 2005, the County Council passed an ordinance officially establishing the program, definitions, criteria for participation, authorized uses of the logo and penalties for unauthorized use.

"We have to thank the County Council for their support in getting the Kaua'i Made program officially established and for working with us to set criteria that will ensure our goals of high quality standards, investment in the local economy, and authenticity of the Kaua'i Made brand are met," said the mayor.

Program Goals
The main goals of the Kaua'i Made program are to support small business, market Kaua'i through the variety of products available here, encourage investment in the local economy through the hiring of local employees and the use of raw materials found on Kaua'i to make the products, and to connect shoppers with high-quality and authentic Kaua'i products.

The Kaua'i Made program is one of several efforts spearheaded by the county to implement The Kaua'i Economic Development Plan 2005-2015, which identified six industry clusters for economic growth and diversification. Focus groups for each cluster identified priority projects that were needed in order for the cluster to grow.

"For two of those clusters - arts and culture and food and agriculture - a Kaua'i brand was identified as a project that needed growth," said Tokioka. "We felt that was a compelling reason to step out and make the Kaua'i Made program a reality."

Background Information
Creation of the program has been an ongoing process for OED for the past two years.
The Kaua'i Agriculture Advisory Committee studied the concept and programs in other destinations for background information and guidance. Elements of the Made in Hawai'i, Made in Maui and Mountain Apple programs, along with a branding effort for the state of Oregon, were all considered.

According to Tokioka, the most informative and useful program was the Made in Alaska program. She said, "Made in Alaska has been in existence for 20 years and is codified extensively in their state law. Looking at their documentation and talking to their coordinator was very helpful to us." There are two major differences between the Kaua'i Made program and all the others that were studied, noted Tokioka.

First of all, Kaua'i Made offers permits to qualified product makers and retailers - rather than focusing solely on products. Secondly, Kaua'i Made is backed by strong marketing efforts.
"We're starting with a website and promotional brochures at the airport and in racks throughout the island," explained Tokioka, adding that the county is also working with the Kaua'i Visitors Bureau to distribute the brochures at consumer travel shows on the mainland to encourage shopping for Kaua'i Made products on the Internet.

"Eventually, we hope to have the resources to have a fully developed marketing and advertising campaign," said Tokioka. "There is no other model that puts so much emphasis on marketing, which I think will be a tremendous benefit to the permit holders."

Program Specifics
In order to be issued a Kaua'i Made permit, a vendor or retailer must fill out an application and undergo an evaluation process to determine if they meet the program criteria. Each product is evaluated by the Kaua'i Products Council (KPC) and a recommendation is made on whether or not the product should be included in the program.

"The experience of KPC members in evaluating the applications was absolutely essential in the successful launch of this program," said Tokioka. "Over a period of three months, they evaluated more than 80 products, and we have followed their recommendations pretty much to the letter."

To participate in the Kaua'i Made program, product makers pay a fee of $50 per year per product or product line, while retailers are charged $75 per year for each permitted retail outlet.

"The price for participation in the program is incredibly low, especially when you look at the marketing value they're getting with the website and brochure," said Tokioka, explaining that the mayor didn't want price to be a barrier for participation.

Products in the Kaua'i Made program are divided into seven categories - food and floral, jewelry, crafts and heritage, health and beauty, apparel and accessories, gifts and miscellaneous, and art and music. Each product can be identified by the Kaua'i Made logo which includes a ho'okupu, a traditional Hawaiian gift, wrapped in ti leaf.

"We love this symbol because it honors our host culture and also represents the wide variety of offerings in the program," said Tokioka.

The county will continue to directly support the Kaua'i Made program for at least two years until it is firmly established. Opportunities to raise revenues through merchandising of the logo are being explored and are expected to help make the program financially self-sustaining in years to come. Eventually, the county plans to contract out the management of the program.

On average, there are 19,000 visitors on Kaua'i every day. According to a recent KVB survey, more than 80 percent of departing visitors reported that shopping for Kaua'i products was one of the top three activities they did while here, behind renting a car and going to the beach. "With over a million visitors a year, this offers tremendous opportunity for our retail sector," said Tokioka. "When you do the math, and assume that each party of two spends a minimum of $50 on souvenirs while they're here, shopping for Kaua'i products translates to a $19 million a year industry."

For information on the program, contact Kauai's OED Director Beth Tokioka at 808-241- 6390.

About Kauai Magazine
Kauai Magazine, published on Kauai since 1980 is a publication of H&S Publishing, LLC, a Kauai-based, privately held technology and media company located in Kapaa, Kauai. H&S Publishing, LLC produces Internet and print products/services primarily focused on the pre-arrival travel and tourism marketplace.

The company's high-traffic volume travel websites are Best Places on Earth (www.bestplacesonearth.com) and Best Places Hawaii (www.bestplaceshawaii.com).
The Destination Marketing System, the company's proprietary Internet marketing program, generates leads from pre-qualified vacationers and delivers them to affiliated clients on a commission-free, high margin, direct-to-consumer, retail basis. Best Places Hawaii is also home to the popular "Love Stories of Hawaii" where visitors can submit their Hawaii-related romantic stories.

In addition to Kauai Magazine, H&S also publishes Kauai Real Estate Magazine, the Hawaii Data Book Series, maps, and print-on-demand books. Access to all websites and to online versions of the magazines is available through the company's portal site, Hawaii Gateway (www.hawaiigateway.com).

The company's clients include major travel companies, such as Marriott, Hawaiian Airlines, Starwood (Sheraton), Aloha Airlines, ResortQuest (Aston) Hotels and Resorts, Pleasant Holidays/Pleasant Hawaiian, Coldwell Banker, Century 21, RE/Max, and others.

The State of Hawaii has designated Best Places On Earth as a "qualified high technology business," making the company and its investors eligible for investment tax credits and other tax benefits. Best Places Hawaii has placed as one of Hawaii's 50 fastest growing companies per Pacific Business News (American City Business Journals), PricewaterhouseCoopers, and First Hawaiian Bank in these sponsors' annual "Hawaii's Fastest 50" ranking for 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005.

Visit http://www.hawaiigateway.com for more information about and access to H&S Publishing, LLC and Best Places Hawaii's products and services.

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