-- Fueled by a 27% increase in
arrivals in November compared with the same month a year earlier,
Kauai received nearly 1.1 million visitors in 2005, according to
Hawaiis Dept. of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.
in traffic from the U.S. West and East coasts and a rise in cruise
ship calls boosted Kauais numbers in 2005.
executive director of the Kauai Visitors Bureau, said the year-end
visitor tally represented a 6% increase over arrivals in
KVB said visitor spending on Kauai increased last year by nearly
5%, to $164 per person, per day.
In 2005, local
officials recorded a 4% increase in visitors who stayed on Kauai
only. Kanoho said one-island stays in Hawaii are on the upswing
because of the perceived hassle of air travel.
arrival numbers were up even though international arrivals fell
almost 20%. Air Canada no longer flies directly to Kauai,
accounting for some of the 20% decrease, according to
In addition, the
Japanese travel trade, which previously blocked large numbers of
area hotel rooms only to leave many unfilled at the last minute,
are no longer being given that opportunity, she said.
hotels now prefer to cater to U.S. wholesalers or independent
And with the
entry of Norwegian Cruise Line into the Hawaii market, Kauais
cruise arrivals jumped more than 30%.
However, as is
the case with many small ports, local and state officials are
learning how to handle the large numbers of people brought in by
Kanoho said she
hopes more regulatory systems are in place by the time NCLs Pride
of Hawaii -- its third ship in Hawaii -- begins plying area waters
The Pride of
Hawaii will join the Pride of Aloha and the Pride of America in
offering seven-day, interisland cruises.
anticipates a 2% to 3% growth in arrivals in 2006, at which point
the island may be at full capacity, Kanoho said.
Priorities at the
KVB for this year include paying particular attention to
infrastructure as visitor numbers grow.
bringing in higher-spending visitors, they have higher
expectations, Kanoho said. We have to be sure we can fulfill those
surveys conducted for the KVB indicate high levels of visitor
satisfaction. Most recently, 97% of visitors surveyed said their
stay was above average or excellent, said the KVB.
All told, the
islands marketing strategy will remain the same for
Each island has
its own story, and our messages are natural beauty, diversity of
activities, romance and golf, Kanoho said.
Kauai has nine
golf courses and is enjoying an increase in romance-related travel
such as weddings, honeymoons, vow-renewal services and second
the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to [email protected].