Travel Weekly's Hawaii E-Letter: November 12, 2001

HAWAII ACTIVITIES launched a Web site at www.hawaiiactivities.com where consumers and travel agents can book tours and activities online. The system is set up so that consumers can book on their own or agents can book for their clients and earn 10% commission with 170 companies statewide. Agents with Web sites who place a link to Hawaii Activities will get 5% commission for each booking that originates at the agents' sites. "Our site is smart enough to know that the booking came through the agent's Web site and it's tracked and a commission is paid," said marketing manager Emily Steele.

HAWAII'S HOTEL OCCUPANCY figures were down 12 points to 59% during a one-week October compared with the same week last year, according to a survey by Smith Travel Research and Hospitality Advisors. However, room rates in the state only dropped from $153 a night to $151 a night. Hawaii's 59% hotel occupancy for the period Oct. 21 to 27 is in the same neighborhood as the entire U.S. (61% ) and six other domestic regions where occupancy ranged from 54% in Orlando to 79% in New York.

VISITORS from the West Coast ranked No. 1 in spending and No. 1 in head count in 2000, according to the Hawaii department of Business Economic Development & Tourism. The 2.1 million West Coast visitors spent more than $3.4 billion in the state last year. East Coast visitors ranked No. 2 in spending at a little more than $2.9 billion, but ranked No. 3 in the number of visitors at 1.5 million. Visitors from Japan ranked No. 3 in spending at $2.3 billion and No. 2 in the number of visitors at 2 million.

THE ROYAL KONA RESORT on the Big Island is renovating all 452 rooms, a restaurant and a lounge. The work should be complete by mid-December, according to Hawaiian Hotels & Resorts, which owns the property. "We will continue to provide guests with the best values in the Kailua-Kona area with no rate increases in 2002 while improving the rooms and dining experience," said company president Glenn Hogan.

PARADISE CRUISE is starting a new daily Hawaiiana Lunch Cruise Jan. 2 on the Star of Honolulu. The Oahu-based ship will offer the cruise daily from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. from Aloha Tower Marketplace. In addition to lunch, the cruise will feature a video on Hawaii culture, live entertainment, and hula, ukulele, lei-making and weaving lessons.

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