You already know that Las Vegas saw 340 group cancellations during the first 90 days of 2009. Now Hawaii has reported 132 cancellations of meetings and incentives trips in the state so far this year and next, which equates to a loss of 87,003 room nights. This fact prompted Hawaii officials to write a letter to President Barack Obama, detailing the impact of the economy on the state's tourism activity.
According to the letter, conventions, meetings and incentive rewards (CMI) account for 442,000 visitors, which is seven percent of its total visitor arrivals. Its meeting cancellations have cost a loss in direct revenue of around $58.8 million, or an economic impact of $97.6 million in total lost output and 694 full- and part-time jobs.
Hawaii officials ask Obama to oppose any legislation that restrict companies' abilities to use CMI travel legitimately.
"There has been great concern about the adverse effects caused by the well-intentioned efforts to address the problem of corporate excess and business travel for the companies who have received emergency finding from the government. It has caused a further downturn in CMI travel, especially for Hawai’i," the letter states. "In this period of economic downturn when our government and businesses are striving to restore economic stability, the last thing we should do is implement policies or encourage behavior that jeopardizes any industry, especially one that has such a far reaching
impact on communities all across America."
You can read the entire letter at Hawaii.gov.