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Hawaii tour companies speak Polish, Russian, Spanish and more

Illustration: Wil Farinas

Millions of people visit Hawaii every year from all over the world and many speak little or no English. Many local companies offer foreign-language tours for those visitors, usually focusing on travelers from the big Asian markets of Japan, Korea and China.

A few companies target the niche market of European travelers. Victor Jarnot has operated Russia Hawaii Tours since 1996. He started with tours in Polish, his native language, then taught himself Russian while in Hawaii, and also offers tours in Bulgarian.

However, his Russian business is strongest. “There are 300 million Russian speakers,” he says.

Jarnot says he’s very busy, with most of his business coming from referrals. “I am so well known over these 15 years. I almost don’t advertise,” he says.

Greg Brossier is owner and president of Sun Islands Hawaii Inc., which offers tours in German, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Swedish, French and Russian. Brossier says he started the company in 1984 to be “primarily international, primarily European,” and now employs 17 people full time, operating from offices in Waikiki.

Brossier says global economic woes have hurt business, but, the weaker the U.S. dollar, the better the prices for international travelers. Currently, the strongest markets for his business are German, Swiss and Danish.

Juergen Steinmetz, president of the Hawaii Tourism Association, estimates that about 15 niche foreign-language-tour companies operate in Hawaii, offering tours in at least 20 languages.

Russia Hawaii Tours

Sun Island Hawaii Inc.

For more information on other foreign-language tours, contact the Hawaii Tourism Association:

Hawaii Business magazine invites you to comment on our articles and the issues they raise. Comments are moderated for offensive language, commercial messages and off-topic posts and may be deleted. Some comments may be chosen for inclusion in the magazine on the Feedback page.

Old to new | New to old
Oct 24, 2011 02:53 pm
 Posted by  oleg

Marina Hawaii Travel is a Russian Language Tour Operator since 1998 and is a primary provider of tour services to tourists and businessmen from Russia and former Soviet Union countries.

This has been flagged
Feb 13, 2012 07:57 am
 Posted by  KUPAU Tours Inc.

It's not only speaking the foreign language, a tour operator has also to understanding the foreign culture and conventions. An example: Germans, Austrian and Swiss people they all speak the same language but they have different habits and needs that should be considered. Thus Swiss people dislike travelling together with Germans.


Bruno Giovanoli

Jan 9, 2013 08:27 am
 Posted by  HawaiiLimo

Alpha Limousine Service in Honolulu offers affordable private limousine tours and airport transportation with Spanish, Italian and Portuguese speaking chauffeurs. Free fresh flower leis included on all airport transfers.
One of Hawaii oldest limousine company since 1992.
Visit :

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