Darlene Morikawa joined the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) in January 2000 and in her current role is responsible for supervising their promotional and public relations activities across North America. This includes annual strategic planning with the execution of leisure travel initiatives and MCI (Meetings, Conventions, and Incentives) programs that stimulate travel to the Hawaiian Islands.
Morikawa manages HVCB’s public relations firm, McNeil Wilson Communications, to implement the media relations program for the destination. Representing one of the leading tropical travel destinations in the world, the team’s ongoing objectives are to identify opportunities to reach the Hawaii Target Traveler to promote the Hawaiian Islands across the ever-evolving media landscape with a keen focus on delivery metrics.
Under Morikawa’s guidance, HVCB’s PR program has been successful in integrating its brand messaging into television programming on national and cable television, including such hits as FOX’s “American Idol,” ABC’s “The Bachelorette,” NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” Travel Channel’s “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” and “Bizarre Foods,” Bravo’s “Top Chef,” Food Network’s “Dinner: Impossible” and “Cupcake Wars,” and Cooking Channel’s “Food(ography), “Unique Eats” and “Hook, Line, and Dinner.”
In addition to her focus on media relations, Morikawa manages the Bureau’s market-based consumer events across North America. These events range from intimate concert venues in Seattle to month-long consumer events at The Grove in Los Angeles, to the prestigious Philadelphia Flower Show. She is also responsible for managing the department’s budget, marketing reports, and the HVCB annual membership meeting.
Morikawa is an active member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and is currently a board member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Hawaii Chapter.