Travel Weekly's Hawaii E-Letter: November 11, 2002

ALOHA AIRLINES received a $40.5 million conditional loan guarantee from the Air Transportation Stabilization Board. Final approval is conditioned upon the airline meeting several requirements, according to a spokesman for Aloha. The airline has asked all of its 3,000 employees to take pay cuts in the next three years in an effort to obtain the federal loan guarantee.

UNITED will temporarily reduce flights from San Francisco to two Hawaiian islands because of weak demand. One daily roundtrip between San Francisco and Kona, and one between San Francisco and Maui will not operate from Jan. 7 to Feb. 12. "There is a little bit of a lull in travel to Hawaii" after Christmas, a spokesman said, adding the flights would be restored after Feb. 12.

HONEYMOON HAVEN. Hawaii was named the top honeymoon destination in Modern Bride magazines' sixth annual honeymoon survey. The best of the rest from the survey -- which polled travel agents regarding the world's top spots for newlyweds -- were Jamaica, Tahiti, Mexico and St. Lucia. Hawaii also captured the No. 1 spot in the Best for Romance and Best Beaches categories and was picked as the No. 2 place (after Jamaica) for Top Spots to Tie the Knot.

A DELEGATION of tourism and education experts from Hawaii began a business development trip to six cities in China Nov. 7 in an ongoing effort to establish a future market for the islands. Highlights of the mission include introducing tourism-related firms from Hawaii to key decision-makers in China's destination management industry. In Shanghai, the Dept. of Business, Economic Development and Tourism will partner with the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau to participate in the China Int'l Travel Mart Nov. 14 to 17.

SEN. DANIEL INOUYE (D-Hawaii) received Marriott Int'l's 2002 tourism leadership award last week. Ed Fuller, president and managing director of international lodging for Marriott, said Inouye was chosen because of his efforts to preserve Hawaii's natural environment and its cultural and historical heritage. In more than 40 years of service, Inouye's initiatives have ranged from expanding wildlife refuges to providing native Hawaiian education at all grade levels in Hawaii, he said. Inouye also has served as board chairman of the Pacific Asia Travel Assn. The award has been presented annually since 1997.

THE ALA MOANA HOTEL added the Resnet reservations system to its Web site, enabling visitors and agents to check availability online in real-time. Visit www.alamoanahotel.com or call (808) 955-4811.

AMERICA WEST VACATIONS expanded its vacation destinations to include the islands of Hawaii, now available from more than 50 America West cities in North America. The move was prompted by a new code-share agreement between America West and Hawaiian airlines that took effect Oct. 11. America West has partnered with more than 60 hotels and resorts in Hawaii for vacation packages in all price ranges, and Avis car rentals for fly-drive packages. Call (800) 843-9971 or click www.americawestvacations.com.

THE WORKS OF PAINTER, printmaker, sculptor, photographer and performance artist Lesley Dill will be on display in a new exhibition at the Contemporary Museum in Honolulu from Nov. 22 through Jan. 12. Dill's use of materials and the scale of her work ranges widely. One of the most identifiable qualities of her work is how she examines the function of language and its relationship to the physical. For more information, go to www.tcmhi.org.

THINK YOU WANT a souvenir from the Big Island? Make sure it's not a lava rock. Pele's wrath, it seems, has visited many who thought they might innocently take a piece of her home. Over the years, thousands of parcels have been sent back to Hawaii with letters begging that the rocks be returned to their rightful place to remove the curse. Consequently, the kupuna, or cultural elders, at the Outrigger Waikoloa Beach Resort have designed a program called Hoaka Hoomalu. The first Wednesday of every month at noon, permission is asked to place the returned lava rocks into a large outcrop of ancient lava on the resort grounds. Hotel guests are invited to witness the ceremony. Then the resort's cultural staff mail a personal letter to each remorseful sender, saying the rocks have been returned to the land.

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