THE GOOD NEWS FIRST: Hawaii's hotels were able to
raise their average rates 4% in 2001 to $146 a night from $140 a
night in 2000. And now the bad news: Hawaii hotels lost $261.3
million on the year and occupancy dropped from 76.4% in 2000 to
69.8% in 2001. This is according to Smith Travel Research and
ASTA IS HOPING to lure a large number of
frontline travel agents to its World Congress Hawaii in November
and is shooting for an attendance of 4,000 agents and 2,000
suppliers. ASTA officials and the Hawaii Visitors and Convention
Bureau held their first formal meeting with Hawaii suppliers to
spread the word about the convention Nov. 3 through Nov. 8. Hawaii
congress chair Susan Tanzman told a group of about 35 hotel and
visitor industry officials that ASTA now has about 400 agents
registered, which is about half the number who normally would be
signed up for an ASTA congress at this time. "I think that about
half the people who attended World Congress in New York in November
didn't even think they would be in business by January," Tanzman
said of the slow start for this year's registration.
AIR MERGER MADNESS: The Hawaii ASTA chapter is
asking its members to contact city, state and federal
representatives to oppose the merger of Hawaiian and Aloha
airlines. "Ultimately what we think might happen is higher prices,
fewer options and worse service," said chapter president Danny
Casey. Casey said the Hawaii ASTA chapter has 110 agents
representing 60 agencies. The ASTA national organization already
has come out against the merger as "anticompetitive and harmful to
KAUAI BECKONING AGENTS: The Kauai Visitors
Bureau is for the first time going to host fam trips for travel
agents, according to Edie Hafdahl, director of marketing for the
bureau. Hafdahl said that in the past, the bureau participated in
fam trips offered by hotels and wholesalers but never was the host.
The bureau is just in the planning stages of a fam trip strategy,
said Hafdahl, and details have yet to be worked out.
ROUGH SEAS: Norwegian Cruise Line's newest
ship, the Norwegian Star, will call at Hilo instead of Kona,
Hawaii, through March 31. A spokeswoman said the tendering
operation in Kona was taking too long during inclement winter
weather. "Hilo has a dock and people can get right on the ship,"
she said. A port call in Hilo also will allow passengers to take
shore excursions to Volcano National Park, the spokeswoman said.
NCL has not yet decided if the Star will return to Kona for the