Travel Weekly's Hawaii E-Letter: June 24, 2002

ABOUT 1,500 AGENTS are registered for ASTA's World Travel Congress here Nov. 3 to 8, and the society expects the bulk of delegates attending the congress to sign up in the third quarter, according to Hawaii congress chair Susan Tanzman. Earlier in the year ASTA said it was hoping 4,000 agents and 2,000 suppliers show up at the conference, and Tanzman repeated that, saying: "we'd love to have 5,000 or 6,000 people here." Registration for this year's event costs $379 per person. Air fare for delegates is as low as $199 from the West Coast, $299 from the East Coast. Hotel rooms go for $60 a night on the bottom end.

IN ADDITION TO the usual seminars at the ASTA congress, agents will get a free island day tour called Islands of Aloha on Nov. 7. It includes free air for tours outside Oahu, and those who want to stay longer on a neighbor island can do so at no extra charge for the air. The Islands of Aloha program offers 12 tours on Oahu; seven on Maui; 10 on the Big Island; seven on Kauai; two on Molokai; and two on Lanai.

EVER WONDER what a typical week in June looks like from the hotel industry perspective? Well here you go. The statewide average hotel occupancy for the week ended June 8 was 62%, down 5% from the same week last year, according to Hospitality Advisors. Average room rates were $138 a night, down a whopping 23% compared with the same week last year. Maui had the highest occupancy for the week and the highest room rate, at 68% and $167 a night, respectively, and the Big Island had the lowest occupancy (49%) and room rate ($145 a night).

WAIMEA FALLS PARK on Oahu's North Shore introduced a new ocean tour in a kayak with a transparent bottom that pays travel agents 25% commission. The three-hour tour offers five miles of kayaking on the ocean from Waimea Bay to Haleiwa. Island trade winds and currents help give the kayaks a push. The tour runs daily at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and costs $69 for a regular kayak and $89 for a transparent-bottom kayak. A shave ice is included at the end of the tour. Call (808) 638-8511 to book it.

BLUE SKY TOURS is giving travel agents is Washington and Oregon a $75 bonus for every vacation they book of five nights or longer through the end of the month for travel through July 31. Agents have until July 15 to send in a list of bookings for the entire month of June to get the bonus. To get a booking form, call (800) 678-2787.

OUTRIGGER is offering travel agents a $50 booking bonus through the end of the year on vacations of five nights or more at four Outrigger properties. The participating properties are the Royal Kahana Resort on Maui, the Outrigger Royal Sea Cliff Resort on the Big Island, the Kanaloa at Kona on the Big Island and the Waikiki Shore on Oahu. A booking bonus form is available at www.outrigger.com/condobonus and it must be faxed to the participating property for confirmation.

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