Business Tripped - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

May 11, 2009

Business Tripped

Apparently, Hawaii has already lost about $100-million in business travel to the state this year.  The ripple effect is also being seen, as some booked conventions are now canceling planned events in Hawaii next year and the year after that.

It's not just about the economy.  It's about the perception.  Corporate meetings and reward travel, sometimes used as incentives for solid sales performances, often look to exciting locations like Hawaii and Las Vegas.  But those getaways just wouldn't look or feel right in these austere times, apparently.  Medical, contractor, and insurance conventions scheduled for Hawaii have all been canceled or postponed for years.

So the question now becomes, what can the vibrant, vital visitor industry do to ensure that the cutbacks in business travel to Hawaii do not become an epidemic or a permanent decision after these tough times end?  One local hotel sales executive said, "We can't go to them anymore with macadamia nuts and say we want your business- that's not going to work".  Some answers have to be found rather quickly, for business travel is simply too big part of our economy to let it quietly slip away.  AS we all know perception can rapidly become people's reality.  Hawaii has too much to offer to let that happen.  Think about it...

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