Kamaaina stay home for spring break

Jon Conching
Jon Conching
Jo McGarry
Jo McGarry

By Roger Mari - bio | email

WAIKIKI (KHNL) - The downturn in the economy is keeping many travelers on the mainland at home this spring break. Here in Hawaii, it's no different. Kamaaina are spending more of their time and money this vacation in Waikiki.

Spring is in the air, but more local residents are staying off airplanes during this year. They're finding great deals here at home. Many hotels offer great kamaaina packages.

The pool at the Hilton Hawaiian Village is full, with local residents like Joe Liu. He decided to stay put.

"Definitely it's the economy, it's a lot cheaper to stay here than go to the mainland," said Mililani resident Joe Liu.

Kamaaiana do what they can to help Hawaii's struggling tourism industry. Lisa Kahalewai and her family usually find themselves in Las Vegas during spring break.

"This year we decided to contribute and help out the economy and our family is staying here we're renting 2 rooms here at the Hilton Hawaiian Village," said Aina Haina resident Lisa Kahalewai.

Local residents are filling up more rooms.

"A normal year you might get 5 to 7 % of business might be local, now we're up to 10 to 12 % spring break time," said Jon Conching of Hilton Hawaii.

Some hotels are offering great room rates to anyone with a Hawaii I.D., to show their thanks. It's also a great opportunity for local residents to appreciate where they live.

"For $125, you get a beach front property, newly renovated, the rooms are gorgeous and I think it's a great value," Bill Comstock of Outrigger Hotels.

While Hawaii Kai resident Jo McGarry enjoys the great rates, newly renovated rooms, and warm pool at the Outrigger Reef Hotel, convenience is what keeps her home this spring break.

"You know, the greatest thing about this is you hop in your car and home in 20 minutes at the end of your vacation,' said Hawaii Kai resident Jo McGarry.

It's a time for local residents and Waikiki hotels, to help give each other a break this first week of spring.

Room rates aren't the only thing Waikiki hotels are discounting for kamaaina. They're also giving a break on meals and parking.