Morning Calm Report
Dave Erdman, president and CEO of Honolulu-based PacRim Marketing, is hearing it from shopping center clients and retailers. He’s hearing it, too, from hotels and he is hearing it from Realtors and real estate companies. “Our customers are saying that they are seeing more Korean visitors and customers and they don’t have appropriate vehicles for reaching them,” says Erdman.
That was the impetus for a partnership between PacRim and Skies America Publishing Co. to produce a Korean-language magazine for Oahu. Skies America was already publishing the Japanese-language magazine, Pacific Journey-Hawaii, and with PacRim Marketing, is now translating and then rewriting the content for a Korean audience. The first issue of the quarterly Korean-language magazine came out in the spring.
Erdman says he expects the 68-page debut publication to grow as the market grows, which, if it does as many predict, will be rapidly. The federal government is expected to add South Korea to its visa waiver program this year and the number of Korean visitors could quadruple in a few years. Currently, about 35,000 visit Hawaii each year.
Erdman says his company, which had been active in the Korea market from 1995 to 1998, has refocused on the market in the last three years as visitor numbers started rebounding from the 1997 Asian market crash. His company provides both Web development and traditional marketing strategies for clients. The company is today targeting the region, including China, but Erdman says for Hawaii, in the near term, the Korea market is the growth area.
He added that, in addition to the visa waiver program, there are direct flights to Hawaii. Of course, it’s also the word on the street. “We are just
reinvigorating our efforts on behalf of our clients,” he says.
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