Travel Weekly's Hawaii E-Letter: December 3, 2001

UNITED AIRLINES in February will reinstate two daily flights from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Honolulu that it cut Oct. 31, and add two weekend flights from Denver to Honolulu. The move will bring the number of United flights to Hawaii to 19 per day, plus the two weekend flights -- a small increase over what the airline was flying to Hawaii pre-Sept. 11. The Saturday and Sunday flights from Denver to Honolulu start Feb. 2 on 777 aircraft. Part of the decision to add the flight from Denver was fueled by demand from customers of Norwegian Cruise Line's new weekly Hawaiian island cruises that start Dec. 16, according to Tom Renville, United's managing director in Hawaii. The San Francisco and Los Angeles flights will begin again Feb. 15. The San Francisco flight will use a 757 aircraft and the Los Angeles flight a 767 aircraft.

THE ISLANDS OF MAUI AND OAHU have been hardest hit by a drop-off in visitors since September. On Oahu, U.S. and international visitor arrivals were down 31% in October vs. last year and down 6.5% on the year through October. On Maui, arrivals were down 30% for October and 7.5% on the year, according to the state Department of Business Economic Development & Tourism. The number of U.S. visitors to Hawaii as a whole fell 19% in October compared with last year and 4.6% for the year to date. The number of Japanese visitors to Hawaii -- the state's second-largest market behind the mainland U.S. -- fell 54% in October and 11% so far this year.

HONOLULU WILL HOST its 22nd NFL Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium Feb. 9. The Hawaii Tourism Authority pays the NFL $4.4 million each year to play the game here and sees a return of $80 million to $100 million in spending by fans, media and others at local businesses. Media exposure of Hawaii from the Pro Bowl is valued at an additional $4 million, according to Rick Chastain of Team Unlimited, which is under contract with the HTA to bring sporting events to Hawaii.

THE HONOLULU ACADEMY OF ARTS is giving visitors several opportunities for free admission. The art museum starts a free Sunday program Dec. 2 that runs through December of next year. That's in addition to an existing free Wednesday program and on top of free admission for holders of Hawaii's new Value Pass. Also, visitors checking into hotels in Hawaii through Jan. 31 will get the new Value Pass, which entitles holders to discounts at Hawaii businesses, including free admission to, what else, the Academy of Arts.

UNITED VACATIONS is offering 2,500 bonus miles on air-inclusive vacations to Hawaii of five-nights or more booked by Dec. 31 for travel through 2002. The wholesaler also is giving travel agents a $25 bonus on Hawaii air and land vacations of three nights or more booked electronically through Dec. 30. A $50 bonus goes to agents who book an air-inclusive vacation of three nights or more that includes United's travel insurance.

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