UH degree: BBA ’91 Mānoa
Hometown: Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan
Current home: Honolulu
Career: Hotel international sales
Asami Arita grew up in Japan but traveled to Hawaiʻi to attend the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s School of Travel Industry Management. Travel, or at least the travel industry, has been the theme in her life ever since.
In June 2011, Arita was named director of Asia and international sales for Aston Hotels and Resorts. As such, she works closely with global sales offices in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan to bring visitors from those regions to Aston’s 28 properties in Hawaiʻi, California and Nevada.
Balancing the management of those properties, each with its own set of unique needs, is probably the most challenging aspect of her job, she admits.
“The most rewarding part is when I negotiated and created a program, and then I see the visitors from Japan and Asia walking around Waikīkī and enjoying themselves,” she adds. “I think, ‘OK! I had a part in that.’”
Before joining Aston, Arita was the Asia senior sales manager at Halekulani Corporation and the Waikīkī Parc Hotel and served as coordinator of Japan sales and marketing for the Hawaiʻi Visitors and Convention Bureau.
The next big event on the horizon is the Asia Pacific Economic Conference. ”We’re anticipating a high demand for APEC and are preparing,” she says.
Check out APEC-related university events.