WEST COAST VISITORS
to Hawaii were the only bright
spot in a sea of negative first-quarter tourism numbers, according
to the state Department of Business, Economic Development &
Tourism. The number of tourists from the West Coast increased 2.6%
in the first quarter compared with last year. Visitor counts were
off 8% from the East Coast and 24% from Japan. Average room rates
in Hawaii slipped to $146 a night, down 3% from the first quarter
of last year. Hotel occupancy was down to 70% in the first quarter
from 80% last year.
COST FOR 'FREE' TO HIGH? Free guided tours of
Waikiki's historic trail are facing the budget ax of the Honolulu
City Council, according to the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Assn.,
which runs the tours. The group is encouraging people to call
council budget chair Ann Kobayashi at (808) 547-7005 or to e-mail
her at [email protected] and to call Honolulu
mayor Jeremy Harris at (808) 523-4141 or to e-mail him at [email protected] to ensure funding. Funding for
the free tours cost the city $88 a day, and "the return on that
money is incredible when you consider that so many people will be
able to take the tour and learn about Hawaii's history and
experience the culture," said Dorien McClellan, program director of
THE COASTAL AREA just west of Poipu on the
Kauai coast is slated for a massive 1,045-acre resort and
residential development in the next 10 to 15 years by Alexander
& Baldwin, a local conglomerate. A&B's Kukui Ula project is
zoned for hotel, time share, resort homes and commercial
enterprises, according to a company spokeswoman. Kukui Ula
Development Corp., a partnership between A&B and DMB
Associates, will begin planning for the project "immediately"
according to a company statement.
SUNTRIPS of San Jose, Calif. is paying travel
agents $25 for each booking from Oakland, Calif., to Hawaii through
June 12 for travel during the same period. For every 10th passenger
booked, agents get another $25. The bonus is good on air-only,
complete packages, fly-drives and group bookings. Call SunTrips'
sales department at (800) 786-7253.
ALOHA AIRLINES is having a sale on seats from
Honolulu to Vancouver, B.C., during the first month of service,
which starts June 15. A limited number of seats will go for $273
roundtrip for travel through July 14. They must be purchased by May
29. For more information, visit the Web at www.alohaairlines.com.
CORRECTION: An item in the March 11 E-Letter
about a $20 booking bonus for travel agents at the Hyatt Regency
Maui contained an incorrect phone number. The correct number to
call to redeem the bonus for bookings and travel completed through
May 31 at the hotel is (808) 667-4440.