Hawaii hotels offering summer deals
Promotions design to keep business hot
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The upside of a down visitor market is becoming apparent to Hawaii travelers, as promotions designed to keep business hot in what is normally the peak summer period are on the rise.
Astute travelers will find that they can get everything from free food and daily hotel resort credits to discounted rooms and free room nights, typically rare during summer in Hawaii.
Hawaii hoteliers also have begun ramping up kamaaina specials, just as they did in the aftermath of 9/11. Making it easier for kamaaina to joining the national "staycation" trend.
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It's a buyers' market for Hawaii travel.
The upside of travel in a down market is that there are plenty of perks for visitors. This is a short list of some of the many advertised Hawaii specials. If you are a kamaaina, don't forget to ask the hotel for additional discounts.
» Halekulani: fifth night free and a $100 resort credit.
» ResortQuest: fifth night free and a two for one Polynesian dinner shows at most of its properties.
» Outrigger Reef: fifth night free.
» Alana Doubletree: complimentary kidsCAREpak and, for a limited time, a $99 kamaaina room rate.
» Hilton Hawaiian Village: family packages that include a free kid's meal daily during lunch and dinner for children 5-12 years with each paying adult
» Ilikai Hotel: room rates starting at $138.
» Kaanapali Beach Hotel: daily breakfast for two.
» Hyatt Regency Maui: 15 percent off rooms.
» Maui Prince Hotel Makena Resort: $50 resort credit per day.
» Royal Kona Resort: fourth night free.
As arrivals and hotel occupancy numbers continue to struggle across the state, promotions designed to keep business hot during what is normally Hawaii's peak summer period are on the rise, said Jack E. Richards, president and chief executive officer of California-based Pleasant Holidays LLC
"Typically, we don't need to run summer specials in Hawaii, but typically speaking oil isn't at $130 dollars per barrel, either," Richards said.
Rarely has Hawaii's visitor industry offered such a range of specials, from free food and daily hotel resort credits to discounted rooms and free room nights.
"We are actually looking pretty good over the summer, but will be offering some new packages and programs to target periodic soft summer dates and the fall," said Cynthia Rankin, regional director of public relations for Hilton Hotels Corp.
Just to hedge their bets in a tough market, some Hawaii hoteliers have begun ramping up kamaaina specials, just as they did in the aftermath of 9/11. Although area residents generally make up less than 25 percent of the business in most visitor markets, at times they can help sustain the industry.
With the U.S. economy on the rocks, "staycations," a term recently coined by the visitor industry to describe home-based vacations, are fast becoming popular. For kamaaina, that means considering Hawaii as a vacation destination.
"With the overall softening in the market, we definitely have begun targeting the kamaaina market," said Nancy Daniels, public relations director for Outrigger Enterprises Group.
A quick perusal of Internet specials in Hawaii shows an incredible smorgasbord of summer and fall values. Just to name a few:
» From June 1 to Aug. 31, Pleasant Holidays is offering a savings of $200 per traveler on air inclusive vacation package from California to Hawaii.
» Travelocity is offering $150 cash credits on Hawaii vacations booked by May 31.
» Funjet vacations is offering a fourth or fifth night free at many properties during summer.
» SaveonHawaii.com is offering fall packages that include an upgrade to an ocean view room and one night free.
Locally, hoteliers and activity suppliers are offering plenty of long and short haul travel specials, said Shari Chang, senior vice president of sales, marketing and revenue management for ResortQuest Hawaii.
"Most of Hawaii's hoteliers will be discounting or offering value-added specials through the end of the year," Chang said.