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Earlier this year, several major news outlets, including CNN and USA Today, carried an Associated Press story about the record number of visitors, about 7.5 million, to Hawai'i in 2005. The article quoted state tourism officials, who wanted to make the Islands more exclusive by marketing to higher-spending visitors.

On Feb. 14, the Vancouver Sun followed up with this piece, "Busy Hawai'i targets big spenders, and that doesn't include Canadians," by Bruce Constantineau:

The tourism business in Hawai'i is so good, operators can now pick and choose their clients–and they're not picking cheapskate Canadians. ...

While 244,000 Canadians traveled to Hawai'i, a 12.2 percent increase over 2004, they have a penchant for staying in condos, timeshares or with friends and relatives, where they can save money by cooking their own meals.

In fact, Canadians are among the lowest spenders on the Islands–averaging just $130 a day, compared with average daily spending of $172 for all tourists combined. ...

Global Travel managing partner Scott Clute feels Hawai'i is already a more exclusive travel destination for Canadians than alternative hot spots like Mexico or Dominican Republic. "The cheap holiday market already goes to Mexico more than anywhere else because it's hard to beat the value of all-inclusive packages," he said.

Mexico attracted more than 1 million Canadians last year and Mexico Tourism Board regional director Daniel Gutierrez agreed that value-oriented, all-inclusive packages are extremely popular with Canadians. "Canadian families love to stay at all-inclusive resorts, which Hawai'i doesn't have."

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,April

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