Travel Weekly's Hawaii E-Letter: October 8, 2001

THE HAWAII TOURISM AUTHORITY awarded the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau an extra $2 million in emergency marketing funds through the end of the year to help get the state's tourism industry back on its feet. That brings the HVCB's 2001 budget to $49 million for the year. The HVCB also will go before a special session of the state legislature later this month to ask for an additional $10 million in marketing funds to use over the next six months. The HVCB has formulated an emergency marketing plan that will focus on the West Coast and Japan. It will cost $20 million and last through March.

THE STATE OF HAWAII could stand to lose $500 million in visitor spending from Sept. 11 through the end of the year due to a falloff in visitor numbers, according to the state's chief economist Pearl Imada-Iboshi. Imada-Iboshi said that figure is based on a 20% decline in visitor numbers from Sept. 11 through the end of the year, compared with average daily visitor counts before the terrorist attacks. Currently, visitor numbers are off about 25%.

HAWAIIAN AIRLINES is having a sale from West Coast cities to Honolulu through Oct. 17 for travel through March. From Los Angeles, the roundtrip fare is $279; San Francisco, $289; San Diego, $289; Seattle, $309, and Portland, Ore., $309.

MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL decided to convert all of the Maui Marriott Resort hotel rooms to time-share units. The resort already has converted 330 hotel rooms to 154 time-share units. The remaining 390 hotel rooms will be converted "over the next several years," according to Stan Brown, vice president of the pacific islands area for Marriott. The time-share units at the resort, called Marriott's Maui Ocean Club, is the best-selling Marriott time-share program in the world, according to Brown. "The decision to convert the entire property into Marriott's Maui Ocean Club is due to the program's tremendous success," said Brown. "Vacation ownership represents a new trend in tourism lodging and has clearly emerged as a preferred option for many Marriott customers."

VISITORS TO HAWAII from the U.S. and Japan made up 85.8% of last year's record 7 million visitors, according to the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau. The remainder of visitors came from Canada (3.6%); Europe (2.4%); other Asia (2.2%); Oceania (1.4%); Latin America (0.3%) and a category called "Other Geographic Areas" 4.3%.

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