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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, July 13, 2002

Hawai'i moves up to No. 4 among visitor destinations

By Katherine Nichols
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawai'i is more popular among American summer travelers this year, rising two notches to fourth place over last year in an annual survey of U.S. travel agents.

Top visitor destinations

1. Orlando, Fla.
2. Las Vegas
3. New York City
4. Hawai'i
5. San Francisco
6. Los Angeles
7. Seattle
8. Miami
9. San Diego
10. Alaska

Orlando, Fla., remained at the top of the travel list, but Hawai'i moved ahead of Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The annual survey of 400 members of the American Society of Travel Agents found that 8 percent of travel bookings by Mainland residents were for Hawai'i this summer.

The news comes at a time when Hawai'i's $10 billion tourism industry is still struggling to recover from a sagging economy and downfall in travel that has followed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks,

"The brand of Hawai'i and the experiences that it offers seem to be more relevant now than they were before Sept. 11," said David Preece, vice president-North America for the Hawai'i Visitors & Convention Bureau. "Hawai'i has always been perceived as a safe destination. And I think the hospitality and a relatively low crime rate also reinforce that."

Domestic visitor arrivals to the Islands have hovered at or above previous-year levels for the past two months.

Another destination enjoying some improvement was New York City, which moved from fourth place last year to third place this year, with 12 percent of summer bookings. Las Vegas retained its second-place position among destinations, with 20 percent of the bookings.

Florida remained No. 1 in the survey's state-by-state ranking.