Visitor industry asks for emergency action

Mary Charles
Mary Charles
David Uchiyama
David Uchiyama

By Tracy Gladden - bio | email

WAIKIKI (KHNL) - Tourism is the bread and butter of Hawaii's economy. But with the slumping economy, and the loss of over one million airline seats from the West Coast alone, a significant market in Hawaii, industry leaders project fall hotel bookings will decrease by as much as 30%.

"Most hotels in June, July, and August are going to be anywhere from on a good note 15% off on a difficult note, up to 30% off and were talking across the board," said Mary Charles of the Hotel Lanai.

"We've had our ups and down's before never multiple factors like this. Creating such a volatile marketplace," said David Uchiyama of the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

It was a packed house as members of Hawaii's visitor industry ask the state tourism authority for emergency action.

"With the money that we have right now, without having to ask for another penny can we get us through what potentially could be a crisis for all of us," Charles said.

Accessibility is tourism's lifeline. During these tough economic times, more people are deciding to stay close to home; the newly popular staycation.

"We need to address how we can somehow offset these costs for the consumer were now getting first and second bag charges soon their will be charges for your blanket," Uchiyama said.

The tourism industry is looking into new ways of marketing Hawaii to visitors to create new solutions for problems it's never faced before.

The 2009 marketing plans for tourism in Hawaii will be presented at the Hawaii Tourism Conference on August 8th.