Published on June 30, 2008
HONOLULU, HAWAII (June 30, 2008) -PacRim Marketing Group, Inc. has officially launched the first commercial Korean language web portal site about Hawaii: www.myhawaii.kr. The interactive site features news and information updated daily about Hawaii relevant to Koreans visiting or living in Hawaii. Key features of the site are video content including interviews with local businesses and residents, trip planning tips, and online travel booking capabilities.
Since going online on a soft opening basis on May 15, MyHawaii.kr is already being viewed hundreds of times a day and appears in the top five on Google Korea in search engine rankings in categories such as "Hawaii Restaurant," "Hawaii Shopping," "Hawaii Hotel," "Hawaii Event," and "Hawaii Information."
"The site is still being expanded," said Sohyun Park, the website's editor at PacRim Marketing Group. "We are adding new categories and content to it daily. MyHawaii.kr is unique because it will provide a 'personal experience,' with traveler opinions and a wide variety of up-to-date information about Hawaii. Content is gathered from various sources and Hawaii businesses, unlike travel websites about Hawaii that focus primarily on tour packages and tour product information. In addition, we produce timely content focused on our client news relevant to visitors and local Korean readers, such as information on the latest merchandise sales at shopping centers and specific retailers targeting the Korean market."
The Korean site is modeled after the largest commercial web site about Hawaii in Japanese, Hawaii-arukikata.com, for which PacRim Marketing Group manages content. www.hawaii-arukikata.com attracts more than 600,000 unique visitors and 2.8 million views per month and tops Google Japan and Yahoo! Japan in search engine rankings related to Hawaii keyword searches. "PacRim Marketing Group, Inc. started the Japanese web site about Hawaii in 1999, so we have an understanding of how a commercial destination portal site works; we decided to re-purpose some of our editorial content, photos, and videos on our Japanese site for the Korean site," said Dave Erdman, President and CEO of PacRim Marketing Group, Inc.
Erdman said developing the Korean website was in response to his clients who needed to find access to the Korean market. "Our clients are creating web pages and entire websites in the Korean language and needed a stronger driver to attract visitors to their sites. The web portal will link to their sites in order for them to be found.
www.myhawaii.kr not only satisfies the Korean public looking for new and unique information about Hawaii, but also satisfies local businesses looking to reach the Korean market online."
PacRim Marketing Group recently enhanced its marketing capabilities and efforts toward the Korean market, increasing its Korean staff to seven, including specialists in online website development and software application. In March, PacRim Marketing Group launched the first issue of the Oahu-based Korean edition of "Pacific Journey-Hawaii" in collaboration with Skies America Publishing Company. In addition, PacRim recently coordinated the publication of a special coupon book for "I Love Hawaii," a popular Korean language guidebook published by Random House and sold at Korean bookstores. PacRim Marketing Group, Inc. also collaborated with HTK (Hawaii Tourism Korea) on a 48-page coupon book used at travel shows and events in Korea.
In April, PRTech, a sister company of PacRim Marketing Group, launched a Korean language booking engine for hotels called KrRes. The system is currently being used by Starwood Hotels in Hawaii, and The Ilima Hotel recently signed on to use the system.
Erdman said the renewed attention to the Korean market is in response to clients noticing an increase in visitors and investors from Korea and in anticipation of the lifting of visa restrictions by the end of this year or in 2009. "The visa waiver will make it even easier and more appealing for investors, young career women, baby boomers, honeymooners, students, families, and other visitors from Korea to vacation in Hawaii and to consider second home or time-share purchases here."
PacRim Marketing Group was active in the Korean market from 1994 until 1997, when Asian investment and travel to Hawaii dropped off due to the Asian Economic Crisis. PacRim assisted a Korea travel trade publisher, as well as handled Asiana Airlines' in-flight media with a Korean partner. Erdman suggests that business from the Korean market could quadruple in the next few years.