Arriving passengers at Kahului Airport are being greeted by festive Christmas music and dancing this week, courtesy of the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau and five Maui resorts.
Staff at the five resorts, who often perform for visitors at their properties during the holiday season, have brought their music, dancing and holiday cheer to the airport, said Terryl Vencl, executive director of the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau, on Monday.
The staff began greeting visitors in baggage claim with lei and their sounds of Christmas on Monday. The musical greetings will continue from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m Wednesday and Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m Friday, she said.
The effort by the hotel workers is meant as a welcome during the heavily traveled week before Christmas, Vencl said.
The greetings at the airport began last year. After seeing a video of people singing to visitors in a mall setting, Bill Countryman, general manager at the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, thought it would be a great thing to do here on Maui, said Vencl.
So last year, the Christmas greeting was set up in the rotunda area of the airport, near the clock at the end of the escalators from the security checkpoint.
"You know how . . . when people arrive they do a beeline for baggage claim," said Vencl. "But these folks actually were stopping to take pictures and, oh my goodness, they loved it."
The resort staffs bringing holiday joy to the travelers this year come from the Wailea Beach Marriott; the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa; the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa; The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui; and The Westin Maui Resort & Spa.
At the resorts, they have housekeepers and other workers who are not professionals but "love to sing and dance . . . and perform on their properties for their guests," said Vencl.
"They are just wonderful people extending their aloha," she said.
At the airport, they are wearing their hotel uniforms or Christmas garb. This week is a very busy time of year for the visitor industry, with lots of folks passing through the airport.
"Christmas is an extra special time to share our aloha and love for our visitors," Vencl said.
* Lee Imada can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.