Laurels launch the
new year for Hawaii
travel executives

Such a way to start a new year -- being honored for what you did last year. The annual Travel Agent Magazine Person of the Year edition landed on the desks of some 50,000 travel agents and other professionals yesterday, with glowing words about several Hawaii travel industry types.

The magazine honors industry workers in a dozen categories. This year's winners include David Carey, president and chief executive officer of Outrigger Hotels & Resorts in the hotel category; Tim Irwin, president and chief executive officer of Pleasant Holidays in the tours and packages category, and Marsha Wienert, executive director of the Maui Visitors Bureau, a co-winner in the U.S. destinations category.

Each category has a "Winners Circle" and two Hawaii-connected execs were named in the airline and retailer sections. They include Glenn Zander, president and chief executive officer of Aloha Airgroup Inc. and travel agency owner Susan Tanzman. Tanzman, while Los Angeles-based, headed the American Society of Travel Agents' World Travel Congress in Honolulu in November despite a battle with cancer and a death in her family.

Travel Agent Hawaii Bureau Chief Camie Foster wrote that Carey has "guided family-owned Outrigger Enterprises to an expanded presence and heightened profile in Hawaii and the Pacific." The write-up also reported on the company's $300 million plan to renovate nearly eight acres in the heart of Waikiki.

2002 was Tim Irwin's first at the top of Pleasant Holidays, marked by "innovation and expansion," Foster reported. The company began offering tours to the Caribbean and at a cost of millions, launched an agent-only Web site to assist with bookings. It also offered discounted travel for ASTA delegates traveling to Hawaii from the West Coast.

The magazine calls Marsha Wienert "a steadfast ally of travel agents." She was honored for efforts to keep Maui, Molokai and Lanai at the top of travel agents' minds and hearts following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The magazine credited Zander, of Aloha Airlines, with leading the airline's resumption of "an aggressive expansion of its trans-Pacific service," including additional routes to secondary West Coast destinations and twice-weekly service to Rarotonga.

In a changing business landscape for airlines, the magazine reported that "One thing that has not changed, is Aloha's commitment to agents. It continues to pay a commission of 5 percent, no cap."

The weekly magazine produces other special editions throughout the year and given Hawaii's profile as a destination, Foster said local executives are no strangers to the magazine's roster of usual suspects.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin.
Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210,
Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached

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