NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE is exploring charter
agreements with airlines serving Hawaii to ensure the line will
have sufficient airlift when the Norwegian Sky begins operations in
Hawaii this fall. NCL has been assured that there are enough seats
on regularly scheduled flights to accommodate its passengers, said
Robert Kirtzman, NCL's executive vp, but the company is "continuing
to explore" charter agreements. NCL already uses some charter
flights but also buys blocks of seats on American Airlines flights
HAWAIIAN AIRLINES said it will begin operating
one daily roundtrip flight between Seattle and Maui in February.
The service will be operated on one of seven new 767-300 aircraft
the airline plans to lease. On June 15, Hawaiian started San
Diego-Honolulu service using a DC-10.
THE HAWAII TOURISM AUTHORITY awarded grants
totaling $1.2 million to 51 Hawaii organizations that will promote
tourism to the state through July 2002. Groups offering cultural
tourism events and programs received the most money ($800,000),
followed by educational tourism, agricultural tourism, sports
events and ecotourism. One example of a cultural event that
received funding is the Coconut Festival, held in October on Kauai.
It focuses "on the historical, economic, romantic and utilitarian
benefits the coconut has provided mankind," according to the HTA.
The festival received $20,000.
OUTRIGGER will put its lower-priced Ohana brand
on the Keauhou Beach Resort, effective Aug. 1. The property, on the
Big Island just south of Kailua Kona, currently is under the Aston
name. Outrigger previously announced it was taking over management
of another Aston property in the Kona area, the Aston Royal Sea
Cliff, on July 1. The Keauhou property will be renamed the Ohana
Keauhou Beach Resort while the Aston Royal Sea Cliff will be
renamed the Outrigger Royal Sea Cliff Resort.
CHEAP TICKETS, based in Honolulu, warned
investors its second-quarter earnings will be below expectations.
The discount retailer said profits for the quarter will be between
$1.1 million and $1.3 million, down from a previous estimate of
$4.9 million to $5.8 million. Cheap Tickets blamed Sabre, which
handles the technology for its Web site ticket sales, for
"excessive booking-engine errors [that] prevented a significant
number of competitive non-published fares from being displayed to
customers." Additionally, Cheap Tickets said its call centers were
unable to answer many customer calls due to "a higher-than-expected
staff attrition in May."
PASSPORT RESORTS of San Francisco is buying the
Hotel Hana Maui and has plans to renovate rooms, upgrade food
service and add a spa. The sale of the luxury property, tucked away
in a remote corner of Maui, is expected to close Aug. 15, according
to Peter Heinemann, managing partner of Passport Resorts. Passport
is buying the resort from Meridian Financial Resources, which
acquired the property in 1999. Heinemann said he plans to continue
the resort's affiliation with Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
HOTELS AND CONDOS in Hawaii posted an average
occupancy rate of 77% during the first five months of the year and
an average room rate of $163 a night, according to a survey of 142
properties by PKF-Hawaii. Molokai had the lowest occupancy rate, at
56%, while Maui had the highest, at 79%. Maui also had the highest
average room rate, at $215 a night, while Molokai was the lowest,
with an average rate of $92 a night.
A GROUP OF HAWAII SUPPLIERS in the Midwest,
called Midwest Ohana, is hosting its third Aloha Summer Fest trade
show for travel agents Aug. 1 at the Sheraton Arlington Park Hotel
in Arlington Heights, Ill. Vendors will include airlines, hotels,
attractions and island visitor bureaus. For more information, call
THE RENAISSANCE Wailea Beach Resort on Maui is
upgrading its 345 guest rooms and has added a business center.
Rooms at the resort are receiving new carpet, bedding and patio
furniture. The Aloha Business Center, in the lobby, is open daily
and provides computers, e-mail and Internet access, copy and fax
machines, packaging and shipping services, and video conferencing.
The center is open Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.,
and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
THE HILTON WAIKOLOA VILLAGE, on the Kona coast
of the Big Island, is offering travel agents a $99 room rate from
Sept. 16 through Dec. 7. To make a booking, agents must call the
hotel at (808) 886-1234.
POKE, ANYONE? The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel Sam
Choy Poke Festival is set for Sept. 14 to 16 at the Hapuna Beach
Hotel on the Big Island. The main event of the festival is a poke
recipe contest Sept. 15. Poke is raw or cooked seafood flavored
with salt, seaweed, soy sauce and vinegar. Visitors will be able to
sample poke from 80 recipe entrants.