The Travel Factory Blog
Up and Coming Hawaii
One of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States, beside Las Vegas and New York City is (Polynesian drum roll, please) Hawaii!!! The latest Travel Weekly reported that the final 2015 numbers aren't in yet, but the prediction is that it will be the record-setting year for visitor count in the 50th state.
They have experienced a string of 9 consecutive record-setting months, and through November more than 7.8 million arrivals have been counted. Visitor expenditures through November reached $13.2 billion. And from all indications, the first quarter of 2016 will also be a banner year because scheduled air service to the islands is expected to grow by 2.4 percent.
Why the popularity? According to a survey by the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, the big draws is the relaxed ambiance, the beaches, the sightseeing, the natural wonders, and the safety on the islands. Other added attractions causing interest is the renovation of many of the hotel properties and added attractions. Burn'n Love, a tribute to Elvis Presley is one of the most popular visitor shows on the island of Maui. In late August, the completion of the $465 million redevelopment of Waikiki's International Market Place will take place and the multi-million expansion of Honolulu's Ala Moana Center will also be an attraction for some visitors.
Well, our readers can experience all that and more by joining our cruise in Hawaii in October. We will be on Norwegian Cruise Line's Pride of America, a ship that has been recently renovated, and we will be fortunate to visit all 4 of the major islands in Hawaii in 7 days. It is absolutely the best way to see Hawaii in a limited time, and the best part is that you get on that beautiful ship and unpack once. You don't have to fret about where to eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and there will be very interesting and varied nightly entertainment.
We plan on going a couple of days early and stay at the Marriott on Waikiki Beach and that strategy is for two reasons. We will have a couple of days to get acclimated to the 5-hour time change plus we will have ample time to pay a visit to the most popular attractions on the island of Oahu, Pearl Harbor, USS Missouri, and Punchbowl (the Western Arlington Cemetery).
Our visit on the Big Island (Hawaii) will be at Hilo on the west side of the island for a day where one can visit the Volcano National Park and get up close and personal to see a real, live, active volcano. Then we will go to the east side and port at Kona. I call that the coffee plantation side, famous for that delicious Kona Coffee.
One of the attractions of this cruise is that we will be docked on both Maui and Kauai for one night each. That means the visitor will have two full days to visit the attractions and beaches of these beautiful islands.
We will fly from Dallas on Oct. 13, return on Oct. 22 and the prices start at a real good price of around $2600 a person for an inside room including tax and insurance. Airfare would have to be on top of that. Contact the experienced travel counselors at The Travel Factory for one of those trips of a lifetime and get Hawaii off your bucket list. And, my goodness, what a wonderful Valentine or Anniversary present to each other. We are at 4150 Southwest Drive; call us at 698-1421 or toll free 800-760-4040, or shop on our website: www.thetravelfactoryabilene.com.