Kauai marketing shifts from aspirational

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The Kauai Visitors Bureau is shifting its marketing strategy from those who want to travel to those who can travel.

"We don't have the luxury of dealing with the 'wants,'" Sue Kanoho, the KVB's executive director, recently told the County Council.

Kauai arrivals are down 16.6% this year through August compared with the same period last year.

Kanoho estimated the next three months will have a 25% to 30% drop in visitor arrivals because of the loss of two cruise ships from Hawaii waters, the demise of Aloha and ATA airlines and rising fuel costs.

Of Kauai's five top markets, only the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton area arrivals are up, by 15%; that increase was attributed to the new Alaska Airlines direct flights.

An additional $14.9 million has been spent statewide this year on marketing, of which $4 million targets winter 2008 travel. But Kanoho said another $4 million would market spring 2009 travel to potential visitors.

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