HONOLULU -- In the face of a gloomy economic future, the Hawaii
Tourism Authority downgraded its visitor arrival, spending and
length of stay targets for the rest of the year.
During discussion of the new targets at HTA's monthly meeting,
members said that the revised targets agreed upon will be a
challenge to meet. The 2001 targets originally came out in November
Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau president Tony Vericella,
whose organization is under contract with the HTA to market the
state to tourists and meetings planners, told HTA members that
marketing dollars earmarked for later in the year to snag leisure
travel and meetings business have been rescheduled to be used
Vericella also said wholesalers in the market are likely to
start hitting the consumer and agent markets with more urgent
advertising and incentive programs that are aimed at specific sales
prices with an urgency to vacation now as opposed to more
image-based marketing that was being used up until now.
The HTA is now targeting visitor arrivals from the West Coast to
Hawaii will grow by 1% in 2001 over 2000 as opposed to an original
target of 3% and arrivals from the East Coast will grow by 3% as
opposed to 3.2%.
Length of stay from the West Coast is expected to decline by
1.5% to 9.73 days while length of stay from the East Coast will
decline by 1% to 10.14 days.
Per person spending per day, which is "the biggest wild card out
there," according to Vericella, is targeted to grow just slightly
by 0.5% to $157, down from an earlier prediction of $174 for this
Visitors from the East Coast were targeted to spend $201 per day
in 2001, but now the HTA is predicting those visitors will spend
$187 a day this year.