Hawaii residents can benefit from economic downturn - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii residents can benefit from economic downturn

John Blanco John Blanco
Joe Toy Joe Toy

By Diane Ako - bio | email and Taires Hiranaka

KAHALA (KHNL) - Hawaii's tourism industry is taking a hit from the recession, but it might be good news for locals wanting a 'staycation.' To get business in the door, hotels are offering big kama'aina discounts.

As the state's collective belt tightens in these tough economic times, Hawaii hotels like The Kahala worry. John Blanco, managing director, summed up the atmosphere across the industry. "How do we weather this period and how long will it be?"

A year and a half, by some guesses. Joe Toy is an industry consultant at Hospitality Advisors. "We'll probably look at 2010 for recovery," he guessed.

Most hotels have rolled out specials designed to attract the local market. Blanco revealed, "We look to our neighbors in our own backyard in these down times."

That's great news for you. Toy encouraged, with air travel so pricey, now is a great time to take a stay at home vacation, or 'staycation.' "This is a tremendous opportunity for kama'aina to enjoy hotels, many which have been renovated, with all kinds of luxury products. It's more affordable for residents."

What kind of deals? Toy continued, "Hotels become more creative in down times. They do things like add a fifth night, bundle services, rental car, dinner credits, and partner with tourist attractions."

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