Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Saturday, May 12, 2001

Tour firm pushes Hawaii to Chicago, N.Y. markets

Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays has organized a marketing blitz in Chicago and New York May 21-25, calling on hundreds of travel agents along with representatives of most of the major hotels and rental car companies in Hawaii to push summer vacation bargains.

Up to 100 travel representatives, including officials of the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau, will make simultaneous calls in some 40 carloads in the metropolitan areas, spreading the word the Hawaii is close and affordable. They will deliver new sales leaflets, in-agency displays, posters and other materials.

Watching the downslide in the U.S. economy, California's energy woes and other negative developments, Pleasant Hawaiian decided it needs to get a lot more active to keep people coming to the islands, said Michael J. Gardiner, vice president of product development and marketing at Westlake Village, Calif.-based Pleasant.

Hawaii hotels are also losing group business as companies on the mainland downsize and get more cautious about the economy, he said.

Study says hotel revenues to rebound in 2002

NEW YORK >> U.S. hotel revenue growth will rebound in 2002 after the economy picks up steam later this year, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers' hospitality group. Growth in revenue per room, a measure of demand in the industry, will rise to 4.3 percent in 2002 from 2.8 percent this year, the firm said. An improved U.S. economy and limited construction of new hotels will allow hotel operators to fill rooms and boost rates, the firm said.

The 2.8 percent growth rate this year would be the slowest since 1992. In 2002, average daily rates are expected to increase 3.9 percent to $91.90, while average occupancy will rise to 63.2 percent from 62.9 percent, the firm said.

With U.S. economic growth at 2 percent in the first quarter, half the average of the last four years, companies have cut back on business travel spending.

Japan says economy is getting worse

TOKYO >> Japan's ailing economy has taken a turn for the worse as falling demand for exports is forcing factories to cut production, the government said yesterday.

A month after warning for the first time in more than five years that the economy was "weakening," the Cabinet Office report for May said that conditions are "weakening further."

It was the fourth straight month that the Japanese government downgraded its assessment of the world's second-largest economy, which is mired in its deepest slump in decades. The report cautioned, however, that Japan is still on track toward a "self-sustaining recovery."

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