Monday, March 12, 2007

Waimanalo Beach - Paradise unknown

If one wanted to know what would be one of the BEST beaches in the world, Waimanalo Beach on Oahu in Hawaii would be in that exclusive category. Waimanalo is located on the eastern side of Oahu, approximately 25mins drive from the tourist traffic of Waikiki. Waimanalo Beach is 8.8 kms long and is the longest stretch of sandy beach on Oahu.

Services and Amenities

  • Lifeguards
  • Restrooms
  • Showers
  • Phones
  • Sandy beach
  • Shady areas
  • Great swimming, bodyboarding, surfing
  • Closed at dark
It is secluded, it is seductive, it is pristine, it is breathtaking. Waimanalo is paradise within a paradise. You really have to see this beach to believe it. Not only is it picture postcard perfect, it doesn't have the crowds of Waikiki, it doesn't have the dangerous surf of the North Shore of Hawaii, it is family friendly, there is ample parking space and the location itself is almost mystical with the clouds rolling over the emerald jaggered mountain range. More distinctly, is the fact that there are no hotels in Waimanalo so it is very much locally flavoured with Hawaiian shops selling Hawaiian food, arts and crafts and sometimes you will see Hawaiian families celebrating birthdays or weddings in the beach park with huge feasts. If you are really really lucky, you may even be invited to join in the celebration. Waimanalo is a Polynesian paradise.

Although I wouldn't want to see more tourists in this little aquatic cul de sac of Oahu, this is what I would do to further improve the attraction of Waimanalo:
  • Introduce electric bbq's right along the beach for families/people to cook at the beach
  • Improve the changing rooms
Someone should design and develop a 3m X 3m outdoor beach frame in a perfect spot for pictures like this one at Wenderholm Beach (Auckland, NZ).
    • All you have to do is stand in the middle of the frame and smile. The beach will form the background behind you, your friends and/or family. How amazing is that!!!

Here are a few ideas to enhance Waimanalo Beach's branding:
  • put up better signage
  • have a display board illustrating the history of the beach
  • have some art like a large carving, or a sculpture at the entrance to welcome people to the beach like Waikiki has a Duke Kahanamoku statue which tourists now use to take memorable holiday pictures
  • introduce home stays in this area if there none.
    • some tourists like to get a feel for a place by staying with locals.
    • introduce eco-tourism in the area especially in the foothills of the mountain range
  • introduce outrigging canoe races there.
    • this is a popular sport in Polynesia and Waimanalo is perfect for this activity
  • Waimanalo's marketing could be promoted by not promoting it but using word of mouth
    • Waimanalo is a place that you either know about or you don't. Sometimes, people will flock to a place if it is known as a 'secret spot'
  • Introduce a "family day" once a month where families get to come to the beach and enjoy themselves in a safe environment.
    • and besides most kids love the beach
  • Have a webcam positioned somewhere on the beach
    • some people would love to see the beach from the comforts of their homes via their computers after their vacation
    • this will bring back pleasant memories of visiting Hawaii for a lot of tourists
    • this will aid the word of mouth if people could see what their friends/family are talking about.
    • it is one thing seeing the beach on a computer monitor but being there and locating it is everything.
You got the luuuuuurve!!!

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