HONOLULU, HI: Dependent on airplanes to deliver tourists, the
Hawaii Visitors & Conventions Bureau (HVCB) is making emergency plans to
revive a tourism industry sagging by more than 40% since September
Hotels with normal occupancy rates of 80-85% are at 40% occupancy or
lower, according to The New York Times. Hawaii Business magazine placed
the occupancy rate closer to 30%.
According to the HVCB, more than 25 groups and 350 individual travelers
have cancelled trips to the islands. Tourism authorities expect the
losses to top the downturn seen during the Gulf War, when Hawaii's
tourism traffic dropped by 25%.
As a first step to getting the rates back up, the HVCB has hired On The
Scene Productions to do an SMT. The goal is to use the media to talk to
consumers about Hawaii's tourism issues as related to the terrorist
attacks on September 11. HVCB president Tony Vericella will do 15-30
minute interviews in which he'll talk about tourism in general, how
tourism promotes understanding of other people and cultures, as well as
Hawaii's own experience being a "Ground Zero" when Pearl Harbor was
bombed 60 years ago.
The HVCB employs Honolulu-based McNeil Wilson Communications as PR
agency of record.