Kaua’i promotions continue despite war

Neither war nor a flagging economy will deter Hawai’i Visitors & Convention Bureau representatives from continuing to promote the state and island on the Mainland.

In June, the Big Apple is the target, as HVCB officials including Sue Kanoho, executive director of the Kaua’i Visitors Bureau, will participate in a “media blitz” in New York City.

The event, an annual trek, was scheduled before the war began, and is still on the promotional schedule, Kanoho said this week.

After two days in New York, Kanoho and Lori Michimoto, vice president of travel and tourism for McNeil Wilson Communications, Inc., will head north, promoting the island and state in Toronto, Montreal and Winnipeg, Canada.

McNeil Wilson Communications is the KVB’s contracted public-relations consultant.

Canadian visitors stayed an average of over six days on Kaua’i last year. Kaua’i hosted over 31,000 Canadian visitors each of the last two years, including over 8,200 who chose to stay only on Kaua’i.

Statewide, Canadian visitors stayed over 12 days in the islands, on average, and a majority of them were repeat visitors to Hawai’i.

Canadian visitors spent on average $150 per person per day in the state, but were tops among all visitors in terms of per-person-per-trip spending, at over $1,800, according to figures from the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism.

Kaua’i hosted over 350,000 visitors from east of the Rocky Mountains each of the last two years, including over 83,000 who chose to stay only on Kaua’i.

The typical U.S. east visitor stays longer, and spends more money each day in the islands, than their U.S. west counterparts. The U.S. east visitor spent over $160 per person per day, and $1,650 to $1,700 per person per trip, staying in the islands an average of over 10 days.

It has been a goal of KVB leaders to lure equal numbers of visitors from each side of the Rockies.

Speaking about how the war has impacted travel to the island, Kanoho said she hasn’t heard of any mass cancellations of reservations made by planned Kaua’i visitors.

In fact, there have been some increases in bookings from Mainland people who are choosing domestic locations like Hawai’i now that war is on, after originally planning, then canceling, international travel, she said.

Where the KVB is concerned, Kanoho said she has set aside some funds for marketing the island, if necessary, dependent on the severity and duration of the conflict in the Middle East.

Staff Writer Paul C. Curtis can be reached at mailto:pcurtis@pulitzer.net or 245-3681 (ext. 224).

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