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Travelling to Hawaii

Duke Kahanamoku surfed here. Royal Hawaiian estates stood here. King Kamehameha himself once lived here. Today, Waikiki, this world famous stretch of beach, is an exhilarating gathering place for visitors from around the world.


  • Take a surfing or snorkelling lesson on Waikiki Beach.
  • See Hawaii’s state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapuaa, up close at the Waikiki Aquarium.
  • Relax on the beach.


Three great sources of information on Hawaii include:


  1. The Hawaii Visitors Bureau’s great guide on the Island Oahu.
  2. The Hawaii Tourism Authority offers an indepth website.
  3. For information on Hawaiian travelling tips specific to your region of the world, visit


Surfer. Oahu's North Shore. Snorkeling Sea Turtles at Maui Ocean Center. Hanging a hammock in the shade of palm trees and reading a book or taking a nap is great fun. (Ke Iki Beach on the north shore)

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Getting There

Located 9 miles (14.5 kms) from the Sheraton Waikiki, the Honolulu International Airport (HNL) on Oahu is Hawaii’s major airport, serving as the entry point for most of Hawaii’s visitors. All twenty-three major domestic carriers and sixteen international carriers serve Oahu, so you can get here from just about anywhere in the world. You can also visit the Department of Transportation, Airports Division for more in depth information on the airport.


Getting from the Airport to the Sheraton Waikiki, the conference venue, is easy and quick. Click here for more information.

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Visitor Information

Oahu welcomes visitors from around the world on a daily basis. Who can resist the beaches, sun and surf of Waikiki! The following information will help you prepare for your trip.

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The average temperature in Oahu is between 75˚- 85˚ F or 24˚ - 30˚ C. Summer, between April and November, is warm and dry. Visit before your departure to check on current weather conditions.

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The currency is the US dollar. Credit cards are widely accepted. Traveler’s checks are accepted at many businesses. The current exchange rates can be found at


There is an ATM and a foreign exchange bureau in the Sheraton’s lobby. Within 5 minutes walking distance of the hotel are several local banks.

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Customs, Passports and Visas

For information on entering the U.S., visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website and verify what you have learned with your travel agent. Below and on the Visa Information Page are some key tips for international visitors.


A valid passport is required by most non-Americans, while a tourist visa is necessary for visitors from certain countries. If you require a visa, visit the Visa Information page for more information. The process of applying for a visa should be started as early as possible to allow time for processing.


Before you depart to Hawaii


  • Ensure that your visa is in order if one is required.
  • Ensure that your passport is valid for six months beyond your intended period of stay.
  • Know the name and address of the hotel at which you are staying.
  • A return airline ticket or E-Ticket receipt and itinerary will need to be presented at inspection.
  • Onboard your flight: An immigration form is required from all non-United States citizens except permanent U.S. residents and Canadian citizens. For more detailed information click here.


For more information on clearing customs in Hawaii, click here.

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What to Wear

Dress business casual during your attendance at the conference. Local custom is to not wear ties. Bring a light jacket for nights and air-conditioned indoors, and semi-casual dress clothes or resort wear for restaurants and nightlife.


Do NOT pack or take prohibited items to the airport. Visit to obtain a listing of prohibited items.

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Outlets and voltage are at 110 volts. Adapters are required for electrical appliances not originating in North America. The frequency of electrical current in the U.S. is 60 Hz.

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Food & Beverage

An extensive variety of cuisine is available representing the multicultural flavour of Hawaii. The Sheraton Waikiki has an abundance of restaurants catering to a wide audience - from casual oceanfront lunches to fine dining 30 stories above the glittering lights of Waikiki, you will never hunger for options.


Minors are not admitted into bars. Minors are defined as anyone under 21 years of age.

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English is primarily spoken, and is the language of presentation at OMAE 2009.

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Medical Insurance

Check with your personal medical plan before leaving your home country to ensure you have adequate travelling insurance. Participants are urged to take out insurance to cover loss incurred in the case of cancellation, medical expenses and damage to or loss of personal effects whenever travelling outside of their own country.

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Smoking Laws

Smoking is prohibited under the law:


  • In enclosed or partially enclosed facilities:
    • owned by the state or the counties,
    • places that are open to the public, including private businesses,
    • places of employment, including private membership clubs if they are a place of employment.
  • In Hawaiian airports, from cabin to curb.
  • Within 20 feet of doorways, windows and ventilation intakes in order to prevent second hand smoke drifting into enclosed areas.
  • In the enclosed, partially enclosed and seating areas of sports arenas, outdoor arenas, stadiums and amphitheatres.


At the Sheraton, 20 percent of the sleeping rooms are designated smoking rooms. If you wish to reserve a smoking room, indicate so when reserving. The front desk staff will do their best to accommodate you. Smoking in public areas is only allowed in pre-designated areas.

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Special Needs

If you are travelling and have special needs, visit and for information on available services.

Contact the Sheraton Waikiki at +1-808-921-4611 directly if you have specific questions. A limited number of ADA accessible rooms are available.

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Hawaii has a general excise tax which is applied to all purchases and is currently at 4.712%.

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Hawaii is on Standard Time (GMT-10 hours), 6 hours behind the US East Coast during Daylight Saving Time in June.

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Tipping for good service is customary: 15-20% on meals, at least $1 per bag for porters, and at least $1 per night for housekeeping.

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