Kaua’i got ‘Slammed’ last week of November

NUKOLI’I – Due largely to the arrival of a young golfer named Eldrick “Tiger” Woods and the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, Kaua’i was inundated with visitors the last week of November.

In fact, the number of Kaua’i domestic visitors during the last week of November this year jumped 67 percent compared to the same week last year, reported Sue Kanoho of the Kaua’i Visitors Bureau.

For the same week, Maui and the Big Island both saw increases of just over 30 percent in domestic arrivals, and O’ahu’s domestic arrival total increased by 22 percent.

The present looks good, and the future also bright, for the Kaua’i visitor industry, Kanoho said during the KVB annual membership meeting at the Radisson Kauai Beach Resort here recently.

A budget cut associated with a reduction in state funds to the Hawaii Tourism Authority means, among other things, that the KVB will host just three press trips in the new year, down from four this year, Kanoho said.

The 2003 trips will include writers learning about luxury vacations, Kaua’i on a budget, and the island for golfers.

Pleasant Hawaiian is planning on again bringing in weekly nonstop flights from Los Angeles beginning in April, for the busy summer season.

The KVB has chosen an innovative direction in its new travel-trade video, which utilizes Kaua’i residents telling friends who call or come to the island what they would recommend they do on the island.

A compact disc has been produced, containing information about the meetings, corporate travel and incentives market, she said.

And research is going on now regarding a “conversion study,” or a look at numbers of people who actually book trips to Kaua’i after requesting information about the island from KVB.

The KVB’s Web site, either www.kauaidiscovery.com or www.kauaivisitorsbureau.com, received 1.4 million hits last month, and 1.5 million hits this month, Kanoho said.

The average time spent at the site is 10 minutes, and the favored stop is a panoramic, virtual tour of the island, she explained.

Cond Nast Traveler magazine’s readers judged Kaua’i the world’s second-best tropical island, behind Maui, in this year’s annual readers’ choice awards.

Former Mayor Maryanne Kusaka addressed the crowd of several hundred people, saying she appreciated as “meaningful” the “good wishes” expressed to her by KVB members.

The association was in her heart for the eight years she worked to promote Kaua’i and improve the “product” for visitor satisfaction, she said, before and once again stressing how important she feels it is for the Kaua’i mayor to promote the visitor industry, and travel abroad in that promotion.

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