Travel Weekly's Hawaii E-Letter: April 22, 2002

HAWAII'S meetings and conventions market continues to be a difficult one, but it is showing some progress, according to Sandra Moreno, vp-meetings, conventions and incentives for the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau. The Hawaii Convention Center has booked 15 future conventions so far this year out of a goal of 50 bookings by the end of the year, Moreno told members of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. This year the center has 29 conventions slated out of a goal of 33. The absence of nonstop air service from both Chicago and Atlanta to Honolulu is the biggest hurdle to getting more meetings and conventions, followed by air service from the West Coast that is not business traveler friendly, said Tony Vericella, president of the HVCB.

THE NORWEGIAN STAR missed its port call at Fanning Island in Kiribati for the second time this month to make a rescue at sea. The Star was asked by the U.S. Coast Guard April 16 to lead a rescue of a man on a sailboat who needed emergency medical treatment, according to NCL. April 2, the Star missed Fanning Island to rescue 11 crew members on an Indonesian ship that had been drifting without power or communications for 22 days. As part of its weekly Hawaiian islands itinerary, the Star sails from the Big Island to Fanning Island and back to Maui.

GAY AND LESBIAN TRAVELERS rank Hawaii third among their favorite U.S. travel destinations, behind Palm Springs, Calif. and Key West, Fla., according to the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, which quoted a survey by San Francisco-based Community Marketing.

HAWAIIAN AIRLINES is having a sale through April 30 with fares of $399 and $439 for its new flights from Sacramento and Ontario, Calif. and from Phoenix to Honolulu. The $399 fare is for flights from Monday through Thursday and the $439 is for flights Fridays through Sundays. Sacramento and Ontario flights start June 7 and Phoenix flights start Oct. 11. The sale on the Phoenix route is good for travel through June 12, 2003 while the sale on the Ontario and Sacramento routes is good for travel through Dec. 14.

PLEASANT HAWAIIAN HOLIDAYS founders Ed and Lynn Hogan were in Honolulu last week to kick off the Hogan Entrepreneurial Program at Chaminade University of Honolulu. The program will teach students entrepreneurial skills with "practical, real-world experiences," according to the Hogan Family Foundation. The foundation previously set up the Hogan Entrepreneurial Leadership Program at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash.

BOB MACGREGOR, one of the founding fathers of mass tourism to Hawaii, died in Honolulu April 16. He was 88 years old. MacGregor founded a travel agency called Int'l Travel Service in Honolulu in 1946, an agency which is still in business today. Later, he started Interisland Trade Wind Tours, an inbound wholesaler to the islands. He is survived by a daughter and a granddaughter.

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