Aloha Air to spend
$2.4 mil on promotion

Half will go into a special fund
run by the HVCB

By Russ Lynch

Aloha Airlines today said it will spend $2.4 million on advertising to promote Hawaii tourism over the next two years, its response to Gov. Ben Cayetano's two-year waiver of landing fees for all airlines at state airports.

Half of the money will go into a special advertising fund, launched by Outrigger Hotels & Resorts and administered by the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau, for generic Hawaii advertising.

That campaign, initiated with a $1 million pledge by Outrigger after Cayetano's September landing fee announcement, is intended to promote Hawaii as a destination -- much the way Jamaica and the Bahamas do, without a commercial push for any particular business.

The other half of Aloha's commitment will go into cooperative marketing campaigns in which other major Hawaii tourism companies will join with Aloha, said Glenn R. Zander, Aloha's president and chief executive officer. Zander said Aloha hopes to increase visitor traffic and to encourage others in the visitor industry and other airlines to join the campaign.

Hawaiian Airlines earlier joined the Outrigger promotion with a pledge of $3 million over the next two years. Other airlines say they are still considering how to respond.

The state estimates that the airlines using Hawaii airports will save about $40 million a year from the landing fee waiver, made possible by a surplus in the state airport fund.

Aloha said it paid about $5.5 million landing fees in the state's 1996-97 fiscal year that ended June 30. Hawaiian said it will save about $6 million a year in landing fees.

In a statement issued by Aloha today, Cayetano urged airlines and hotels to join other tourism businesses in the promotion, to help Hawaii's economy.

Outrigger has challenged the airlines to come up with $10 million and the rest of the tourism industry another $10 million for the campaign.

David Carey, Outrigger's president, said Hawaii is heavily outspent by competing tourist areas and cruise lines. He said Hawaii residents see the same commercials for tourist destinations as the rest of the country sees, but because they live here they don't notice Hawaii's absence.

"We just get dwarfed and the frustration for me is, we don't even realize how much we're being outspent," Carey said.

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