Travel Weekly's Hawaii E-Letter: December 31, 2001

HAWAII'S DEPARTMENT of Business Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT) published a flurry of travel industry reports in December. Among the highlights:

HAWAII'S VISITOR NUMBERS were down 27% in November 2001 compared with November 2000 and down 8.5% in the first 11 months of 2001, according to the DBEDT. Arrivals from the mainland U.S. were off 5.2% in the first 11 months of 2001 compared with 2000 and Japanese visitor numbers, Hawaii's second-largest market behind the mainland U.S., were off 15.6% during the first 11 months of 2001. Americans vacationing in Hawaii stay about 10 days while Japanese visitors average about six days.

THE DBEDT, in it's first regular cruise industry report, said the number of visitors to Hawaii on foreign cruise ships jumped 58% in the September through November period of 2001 compared with the same period in 2000, from 26,149 passengers to 41,310. "Hawaii has experienced exceptional growth in the cruise industry in the last few years," said Seiji Naya, director of the DBEDT. "It is very encouraging that despite the events of Sept. 11, we experienced strong growth in the number of cruise passengers over the last several months." The number of ships visiting Hawaii waters in the three-month period jumped by only one, from nine to 10.

WHO SPENDS the most money on their Hawaii vacations? East Coast U.S. visitors are the winners through the first nine months of 2001, according to the DBEDT. East Coasters spent an average $1,738 per person, per trip, followed by West Coast visitors who spent $1,491 per trip with Japanese tourists spending the least at $1,398 per person, per trip. There is one wrinkle though: Japanese visitors spend the most per day, at $235 per person, but they stay fewer days on average -- and thus spend less per trip -- than their mainland U.S. counterparts.

PLEASANT HOLIDAYS this month will unveil its new travel agent Web site at www.pleasantagent.com. The new agent-only site will offer booking capabilities for specialty packages such as honeymoons, spas, senior citizen and golf. Other information on the site will include destination reports, sales reports for agencies, brochures, printable fliers for clients and more.

OUTRIGGER HOTELS & Resorts is offering a flat rate of $249 a night for any oceanview room at 12 hotels on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island from Jan. 6 through June 30, based on availability.

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