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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, November 2, 2001

The September 11th attack
Cayetano to offer free vacations to WTC recovery workers

By Kevin Dayton
Advertiser Staff Writer

Gov. Ben Cayetano will offer 600 free Hawai'i vacations to workers helping with the recovery from the World Trade Center attack next week.

The gift will be part of the governor's visit to New York City to promote Hawai'i as a tourist destination.

Cayetano will also address delegates at the American Society of Travel Agents 2001 Congress, making a pitch to 2,000 of the nation's travel agents.

Cayetano and first lady Vicky Cayetano will join representatives of the Hawai'i Visitors & Convention Bureau at the congress, which is being held Sunday through Wednesday. Gov. Cayetano will address delegates Tuesday evening.

The governor will offer the free trips, which include airfare, hotel rooms and transportation for recovery workers, in a meeting Tuesday with New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

Giuliani's staff will distribute the vacations, and another 600 vacations for recovery workers will be handed out next year.

"Fire, police and rescue workers are among our country's bravest and most selfless heroes," Cayetano said. "We would like to honor them by inviting these rescue workers to relax in the comforting warmth and hospitality of our Islands and our people."

The first 600 vacations will be Dec. 3-10, and workers will be flown in on charter flights donated by Hawaiian Airlines. All of the vacations are being donated by the hotels and transportation companies.

Cayetano will also present Giuliani with a $125,000 check for the New York City Police and Fire Widows and Children's Benefit Fund. The money for the donation will come from HVCB, which had planned to use it for a dinner for the participants in the travel congress.

Cayetano's spokeswoman Kim Murakawa said the idea for the free packets of travel to Hawai'i was proposed by community leaders during meetings in the days following the Sept. 11 attacks.