Travel Weekly's Hawaii E-Letter: September 17, 2001

THE HAWAII ANNUAL TOURISM CONFERENCE, which was scheduled to start today, was canceled. The three-day conference, sponsored by the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau, will be rescheduled at a later date. The Travel Weekly lunch time panel discussion, "The State of the Packaged Travel Industry and What it Means to Hawaii," was canceled as well. The panel was scheduled during the first day of the tourism conference, and will be rescheduled as well.

ABOUT 1,500 PASSENGERS aboard six international flights from Asia and the South Pacific who were bound for the U.S. mainland were diverted to Honolulu following the terrorist attacks last week, according to Hawaii Tourism Authority CEO Bob Fishman. Of the six flights that made unexpected stops in Honolulu, two were from Japan, one was from New Zealand, one was from Australia, one was from Korea and one was from Hong Kong. Fishman said those passengers were taken to area hotels on Oahu for the night. Of the 145,000 visitors in Hawaii on Tuesday, 18,000 were preparing to leave but could not do so because of the ban on air travel. Another 4,000 visitors did enter the state on flights that were allowed to land, said Fishman. Nearly every major hotel chain contacted, including Aston, Outrigger and Starwood, were offering discount rates to visitors who could not leave the state and to those whose flights were diverted here.

THE HAWAII VISITORS & CONVENTION BUREAU said it was canceling all television advertising in the U.S. and Japan following the terrorist attacks on the U.S. Sept. 11. "pending further review."

IN RELATED NEWS, the HVCB said it received "multiple" cancellations of both small and medium size corporate and incentive groups for all islands during the next eight weeks, following the terrorist attacks last week. The HVCB said 80% of those cancellations are for groups from the U.S. At press time the bureau reported no cancellations for large conventions scheduled either for hotels or for the Hawaii Convention Center.

AMERICAN AIRLINES said it will start a new daily flight from Los Angeles to Lihue on Kauai. A statement released by American said only that the flight would start sometime between now and Jan. 3. American officials were not available for comment on the start date. But Susan Kanoho, executive director of the Kauai Visitors Bureau said American informed her the start date will be Dec. 15.

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