HONOLULU -- The Internet is pushing the industry in a positive
direction, by sparking an increase in prearrival bookings to such
attractions as the Atlantis Adventures underwater submarine
experience, according to Toni Marie Davis, executive director of
the Activities & Attractions Association of Hawaii (A3H).
Davis joined a panel of attractions executives convened here to
discuss the importance of the attractions market to the destination
as a whole.
According to Atlantis President and CEO Ron Williams, who is
also president of the A3H, the number of visitors to the attraction
was up 21% in 2003 from the previous year. Atlantis grossed $32
million in 2003. Waikiki Zoo and Sea Life Park also reported
Davis said the organization is encouraging members to make use
of reservations systems in order to provide a simpler booking
process for travel agents and consumers.
The A3H, a nonprofit group with a booking engine that enables
agents to arrange tour options for clients, has more than 200
supplier members, according to Davis.
Agents can earn a 15% commission on each advance booking by
joining the A3H's Travel Agent Referral Program, which carries a
$50 annual membership fee.
Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity also offer pretravel bookings of
tours and attractions but only to those who buy a travel package
President John Monahan of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention
Bureau (HVCB), meanwhile, said his organization is promoting the
islands through "Aloha Live," a traveling festival that will bring
Hawaiian music, crafts and food to the mainland this month. The
festival will play in various cities from coast to coast.
Also, Monahan said, a series of TV spots will air in cities with
large numbers of inbound Hawaii travelers, such as Atlanta,
Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Seattle. The ads,
which highlight the islands' activities and adventures, will begin
airing in September, he said.
Both the television marketing campaign and the "Aloha Live"
concert tour are funded by the HVCB.
In other attractions news, the Travel Channel and the History
Channel both have filmed segments at the Battleship Missouri
recently. Lee Collins, vice president of sales and marketing for
the Battleship Missouri, said the segments are scheduled to air in
the next several months.
Collins said a recent increase in cruise ship passengers to
Hawaii has meant more visitors to the Missouri, noting that the
demographics of cruisers are similar to those of traditional
visitors to the attraction.
For information on the A3H, call (808) 398-9698 or go to www.hawaiifun.org.
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