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April 9, 2003 – Destination Reports

Hawaii – Hawaii tourism officials are reporting a 33 percent decline in business since the start of the Iraq War. Japanese visitor business dropped by 30 – 40 percent and tour groups are down by as much as 30 percent. To counter this, the Hawaii Tourism Authority is redirecting $1.7 million into attracting frequent flyers and mainland visitors.

Florida – Visit Florida have reported that South Florida’s hotel and convention businesses have shown a certain resilience to the affects of the Iraq War when compared to other parts of the state. Close to half (46.6%) of businesses in the tri-county area have been affected to some degree by the war, but future bookings are down only 22.5 percent in this area. This compares favorably to the 32.8 percent decline in future bookings for Central Florida, 34.6 percent drop in north Florida and 32.6 percent statewide.

Washington, DC – Hotel occupancy rates for the Nation’s Capital stormed ahead of the national average for the week ending March 29, 2003. Smith Travel Research report occupancy in Washington DC hotels to have been 79 percent, compared to the U.S. national average of 60 percent. For the entire month of March, DC’s occupancy rates stood at 77 percent.