Travel Weekly's Hawaii E-Letter: September 30, 2002

THE AVERAGE NUMBER of passenger arrivals to Hawaii edged up toward 2000 levels following the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, according to the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau. For the seven-day period ended Sept. 18, the average number of passenger arrivals to the state reached 95% of the comparable period in September 2000 -- a peak year for Hawaii visitor arrivals, the HVCB said.

MEANWHILE, the HVCB and ASTA are teaming up to lure agents to the upcoming World Travel Congress in Honolulu. Agents who take part in Hawaii-specific seminars at the congress, including the Ke Kula 'o Hawai'i destination specialist program, will get a $25 bonus commission coupon per session -- up to $250 in bonuses -- from participating suppliers. For more information on the congress, visit www.astanet.com.

THE HYATT REGENCY WAIKIKI and Local 5 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union tentatively agreed to a labor contract, with the same terms as the agreements recently agreed to by unionized workers at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and four Sheraton hotels in Honolulu. The agreement has yet to be approved by union and hotel officials and ratified by the hotel's 560 workers.

USA INTERACTIVE completed its acquisition of Miami-based Interval Int'l, which offers vacation rental inventory at more than 50 resort properties in the islands. USAI, which previously pegged the purchase price at $578 million, is expected to integrate the vacation rental inventory with its planned cable TV channel and Expedia.com.

PENCIL IT IN
• Aston Full Moon Concert at the Kapiolani Bandstand in Kapiolani park, Oahu, on Oct. 25. Features Na Leo Pilimehana. Sponsored by Aston Hotels & Resorts Hawaii and the City & County of Honolulu. Call (808) 944-4360.
• Maui Int'l Short Film & Video Festival, Oct. 25 to 27. A three-day event featuring short film and video screenings from around the world. Screenings take place at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center's Castle Theater. For more information, visit www.mauifilmfestival.com or call (808) 579-9244.
• Hawaii's Big Island Festival, Oct. 30 to Nov. 3. Toll-free hotline: (866) 424-FEST.
• 2002 Hawaii Int'l Film Festival on Oahu, Nov. 1 to 10. Will show more than 100 features, shorts and documentaries over the 10 days. Visit www.hiff.org.

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