Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Aloha, Hawaii

The Associated Press reports that by the end of 2007, 469 cruise ship calls to the Big Island of Hawaii are expected to generate upward of $94 million in visitor expenditures. That's the good news. However, the bad news is that cruise ship calls to the island are expected to drop by nearly a third next year, eliminating hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in tourist revenue. The average passenger spends about $100 per day during a day in port, buying souvenirs, going on tours, and dining ashore. Their future absence will be painful to the local economy. The pain doesn't stop there, though. While ship visits are expected to fall to 310 in 2008, the numbers are expected to decline further through 2011.

Norwegian Cruise Lines is withdrawing NCL America's Pride of Hawaii from island service altogether in Feb 2008 and a revised schedule for Pride of Aloha that began this year in Sept has reduced that vessel's Big Island calls from once a week to only twice every three weeks to accommodate its longer, 10- to 11-day itineraries that include Fanning Island. According to NCL, an increase in foreign-flagged competition entering the Hawaii market from the mainland has caused an excess of capacity and accounts for its poor yields in the state that they were expected to "own" with its US-flagged ships.

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