Travel Weekly's Hawaii E-letter: Dec. 18, 2006

MOST HAWAII RESIDENTS, 76%, don't want any more hotel development in the Islands even if more visitors come, according to a study by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. The fear of dependency on tourism was a serious concern for 78% of respondents. Sixty-two percent said that Hawaii is being run for tourists at the expense of local people. The full report is available at www.hawaii.gov/tourism

HAWAIIAN AIRLINES has prevailed in the latest round of legal battles with Mesa Air Group, parent of Go, an interisland carrier. Hawaiian Airlines' lawsuit against Mesa Airlines took a step forward when Mesa's antitrust counterclaim against Hawaiian was rejected in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, clearing the way for a trial on Hawaiian's claims against Mesa for breach of contract and misuse of Hawaiian's proprietary information. Mesa allegedly accessed proprietary information when Hawaiian was in bankruptcy and Mesa Chairman and CEO Jonathan Ornstein was a potential buyer.

AQUA HOTELS & RESORTS has added the 80-room Coconut Plaza Hotel in Waikiki to its portfolio. The off-beach property will be renamed the Aqua Coconut Plaza and initially marketed as a budget hotel. Several million dollars worth of upgrades are planned for 2007, with Aqua taking over from ResortQuest.

WINTERING HUMPBACKS have returned to Maui waters, and whale-watching cruises are under way. While humpbacks are being sighted in waters off all the islands, Maui's Maalaea Bay is a preferred birthing place and nursery, with sightings common from the beach and closer up by naturalist-led tour boats that operate between late November and early May, when they head back to Alaskan waters.  

Hawaii Editor:

Allan Seiden

Phone: (808) 734-4677

[email protected]

For promotional opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].

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