Hotel executives gather in Waikiki for annual convention - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hotel executives gather in Waikiki for annual convention

Ron Pohl Ron Pohl
Elizabeth Mon Elizabeth Mon
Najib Ayar Najib Ayar

By Roger Mari - bio | email

WAIKIKI (KHNL) -  Nearly 3,000 executives, from Best Western Hotels are in town for their annual convention at the Hawaii Convention Center.

The Best Western Hotel at the Honolulu Airport is operating right at budget. That's not the case for every property in the Best Western chain; the biggest hotel group in the U.S.

It's the second time Best Western Hotels has held it's annual convention in Hawaii. 350 vendors are on hand offering great deals on everything from phones, irons and vacuum cleaners.

"In a time when financing is tough to get, there's supporting our brand and offering some great savings to our hotels," said Ron Poh of Best Western Hotels.

It's a nice break for some hotel owners who have seen better days. In parts of Utah there's been a decline in hotel occupancy in just the last year.

"We were up like last year probably 15%, this year we're down about, I think last time I checked about 5%," said Elizabeth Mon of Best Western Hotels Utah.

Many hotel owners were here for the first convention held in Hawaii in 2000. The economy was much stronger then, but some believe it's just a matter of time before visitors will finally be able to do more traveling.

"This time I'm sorry I can't say they are very good, but we're holding our own," said Najib Ayar of Best Western Hotels Michigan. "We might struggle for a while but things definitely will get better."

During these rough economic times, many owners are depending on customer service to drive in visitors as much as offering competitive rates.

"Hawaii ties in with that because it's known for its customer satisfaction in the hotels," said Poh.

The timing couldn't be better to hold this annual convention in Hawaii. These hotel owners are projected to spend more than $13 million this week, giving the islands a much needed economic boost.

The Best Western Hotel at the airport will complete a $2 million renovation project by the end of November.

This Thursday a second Hawaii Best Western will celebrate it's grand opening in Waikiki.

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