Thanks to Go! Airlines, interisland fares have plummeted from $89 one way to $39 one way. And not be left in the dust, both Aloha and Hawaiian matched the fares. Now, to make things even better for those of us that enjoy traveling from one island to another, all three airlines are offering $29 one way fares, valid for travel through April 30th. And who do you suppose lowered the fare another $10? Well, if you guessed Aloha or Hawaiian, you would be wrong.
In spite of all attempts to derail the previously approved Superferry, it looks now as though service will begin in July. We can only hope that Kauai will not be overrun with the brown tree snakes that will hitch a ride; that Oahu drug dealers will not be loading up their vans with illicit substances for sale here; that the homeless will not be driving their cars onto the ferry and then living in them here; that invasive species will not find a home here; that Oahu fisherman will not come over and crowd out the locals in their favorite fishing holes and that the migrating whale population will not be decimated by the new ferry. If we can just overcome those obstacles, then it might be kind of fun to go over to Oahu with your car for the week-end, load it up with goodies and then drive it back. Fares will be a little more than current low airfares--$42 each way per person plus $52 for the car. I plan to be one of the first passengers on the ferry, so I'll let you know my impressions sometime in July or August.
Vacation Rentals Favored over Resorts
A recent report by The Kauaian Institute shows that more Hawaii visitors are choosing to stay in short term vacation rentals in our residential communities over resort accommodations. In 2005, over300,000 visitors chose to stay in either a B&B or rental home. On Kauai, overall vacation rentalpatrons increased from 73,000 in 2003 to 88,000 in 2005. This represents 4.3% of all Hawaiivisitors and 8.1% of Kauai visitors.
Based on data compiled by the Kauaian Institue in 2005,nearly 70,000 visitors chose to stay in one of the 750 rental homes, while approximately 20,000visitors chose to stay in one of the 172 B&B's on Kauai. For more information visit www.kauaian.net.
Kauai World Challenge
The 5th Annual Kauai World Challenge, co-sponsored by the Hawaii Tourism
Authority and the County of Kauai, is a 4-day international paddling event, beginning Thursday,May 10th. The main event, a one-man and surf-ski coastal relay will take place on Saturday,May 12th, beginning at Wailua Beach. Paddlers will relay at Hanamaulu Beach, Kalapaki Beach and Poipu Beach (fronting the Marriott's Waiohai Beach Club) with the race ending at Salt Pond.
Last year, over 100 teams from all over the world came to Kauai to participate in this
world-class event. If you are interested in making a contribution to this program (monetary or prize donation), please contact the PBRA office at 742.7444. For more information, visit www.kauaiworldchallenge.com.
Anara Spa Expansion
The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa's award-winning ANARA Spa has completed Phase I of its 20,000 square foot expansion. The completion of Phase I added 900
square feet to the existing fitness center, allowing for additional cardio equipment; an indoor/outdoor hale for fitness classes, yoga and personal training; an open-air relaxation lounge area, along with a couples massage room, and a private Vichey room.
Phase II of the expansion will include four additional private hale, each of which will include private showers and steam grotto,set in tropical flora and waterfalls for massage treatments. Two private outdoor soaking tubs will be offered in new daylong spa experiences. For more information, visit www.grandhyattkauai.com.
January Visitor Statistics
January visitor arrivals to Kauai were up 8.2% over 2006. By comparison, total visitors to Maui were down 4.3%; the Big Island up 1.5%; and Oahu's arrivals were down 4.6%. It seems more and more visitors to the islands are seeking a more laid back vacation than is possible on Oahu or Maui.
The U.S. domestic market to Kauai showed a 6.1% increase at 84,717 arrivals, with the international market showing an increase of 24.1% with 13,255 arrivals. Kauai's visitors from U.S. Western areas increased 8.1% while visitors from U.S. Eastern areas increased 1.8%. It just costs a lot more to get to Kauai from New York or Boston than it does from San Francisco or Los Angeles.
Visitors to Kauai from Japan were down 27.5%. The majority of Japanese tourists continue to go to Oahu. Must be the very dense Honolulu population coupled with high rise buildings remind them of home. Canadian visitors to Kauai were down 7.6%. You don't even need the new math to figure this one out. With an exchange rate that does not favor them and results Canadians paying higher prices on everything when they come here, it's no wonder fewer did.
Na Wahine Fest 2007
An all-day music festival to benefit the YWCA of Kauai will be held on March 31st from 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm in the Kapaa Beach Park. The event is intended to honor the feminine principle that creates and sustains life and its role in creating a more sovereign and sustainable community; galvanize Kauai's non-profit, grass-roots and volunteer sectors and their ability to create a better organized and informed community; and celebrate Kauai's artists and musicians in their role inspiring the Spirit of Aloha and the remembrance that we are in fact a community.
There will be lots of great local music, dance and inspirational speakers. Admission is $15 in advance; $20 at the door; Keiki and Kupuna get in for free (if you don't know whether or not you're a Keiki or Kupuna, you probably have to pay). Tickets available at Paradise Music in Princeville, Bounty Music and Small Town Coffee Co. in Kapaa and Nite-Owl T-Shirts in Hanapepe.