Travel Weekly's Hawaii E-Letter June 2, 2003

KAPALUA RESORT has four room-and-ticket packages to the 22nd annual Kapalua Wine & Food Festival [note food is secondary] July 10-13. A Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua package starts at $550 per night for three nights, double occupancy, and includes a partial ocean-view room, two tickets to the Kapalua Seafood Festival, daily buffet breakfast for two and an Andrea Immer book. A four-night package is available at the Kapalua Bay Hotel & Ocean Villas for $500 per night, double occupancy, and it features garden-view accommodations, two tickets to the Grand Tasting, two tickets to the Bay Club Winemakers dinner and two tickets to the Kapalua Seafood Festival. The Kapalua Villas offer a three-night package with a one-bedroom villa, two tickets to the Grand Tasting, two tickets to the Kapalua Seafood Festival and $100 merchandise credit. (800) KAPALUA; www.kapaluamaui.com

THE NUMBER OF DAYS visitors spent in Hawaii rose 15% in April compared with the same month a year earlier, according to the state Dept. of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. The statistics result from of an increase in domestic visitor arrivals--although international arrivals sagged--and a longer average length of stay. The number of visitors arriving on domestic flights rose 12.2% compared with previous-year levels, whereas international arrivals were 26.6% below 2002. The most dramatic increase occurred on Molokai, where visitor arrivals increased 59.4%. Only Oahu saw a decline, with visitor arrivals dropping 10.3% compared with the previous April. Cruise ships also enjoyed a boost. Eleven cruise ships toured the Islands in April, carrying 32,647 people--62.6% more than last year.

IN A CONCERTED EFFORT to attract more business and incentive groups, the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau is "Celebrating Aloha" in a West Coast road show this week designed to market the Islands to meeting planners. Look for the team of travel suppliers and HVCB representatives in Newport Beach, Calif. tomorrow and in San Francisco on Thursday. Even if you don't win the grand prize drawing--a free trip to Hawaii for two--you'll taste Hawaiian cuisine and go home with a gift bag...and learn a little more about bringing your next convention to Hawaii. (888) 424-2924; www.meethawaii.com

CULTURAL HAPPENINGS: Explore Chinese history at the Honolulu Academy of Arts this summer. "Chinese Costumes of the Qing Dynasty: From the Academy's Textile Collection" will be shown May 15 to Sept. 14 in the Textile Gallery, and will feature 25 intricately embroidered robes and jackets from the 1644 and 1911 timeframe.

RATES & DATES: Purchase an eight-day Kauai package with SunTrips and get a nonstop flight to the Garden Isle and a complimentary helicopter tour on Heli USA. It must be booked by June 6 for travel through Aug. 15. Nonstop service to Kauai leaves Oakland on Fridays throughout the summer. Eight-day packages start at $759, with airfare, accommodations, rental car and hotel taxes. Air-only rates start at $449. (800) 786-8747; www.suntrips.com

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