2007年06月03日

Hawai'i trip has highest price tag

TOP 5, BOTTOM 5

AAA's estimate for the average cost for a family of four on vacation for a day:

Most expensive?

Hawai'i — $650

District of Columbia — $611

Rhode Island — $345

New York — $326

New Jersey — $324

Cheapest?

North Dakota — $187

Nebraska — $199

Iowa — $201

Kansas — $201

South Dakota — $204

Source: AAA 2007 Annual Vacation Costs survey





Ouch! An annual AAA survey ranks Hawai'i as the most expensive state for a vacation — estimating the cost of food and lodging for a family of four will average $650 per day.

Honolulu ranked as the highest-priced city, beating out New York and Miami Beach.

Hawai'i has topped the state list for at least eight years in a row.

State tourism liaison Marsha Wienert said the numbers don't surprise her. The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism has been reporting average visitor spending at about $175 a person.

"Hawai'i is a premium destination," said Joseph Toy, of Hospitality Advisors LLC, who tracks hotel trends. Toy said Hawai'i remains an exotic locale that lures many travelers despite a higher cost than Nebraska or North Dakota.

"It's a very unique destination with great beaches and a high level of service," Toy said.

He said resort rankings by travel publications consistently show people value a Hawai'i vacation.

In terms of cities, the AAA said Honolulu earned the most expensive tag with food and lodging for a family of four costing $584 per day.

New York and Miami Beach followed with $524 and $409 per day, respectively. The most economical choices include Albuquerque, N.M., with a day of food and lodging costing $165; Wichita, Kan., $169; and Mesa, Ariz., $180.

Nationwide, travelers can expect to pay more this summer with average combined lodging and restaurant costs up 3.7 percent over last year, according to AAA.

"Rate increases for lodgings are mostly a result of supply and demand, especially in major markets," said Michael Petrone, director, AAA Tourism Information Development, which oversees the popular AAA Diamond Ratings. "For both lodgings and restaurants, rising energy costs as well as salary and benefit costs are certainly having an impact."

The AAA survey shows that a family of two adults and two children can expect to pay an average $269 per day for food and lodging in the U.S. Lodging rates will average $152 a night, up nearly 7.9 percent from last year. Meals will cost $118, down 1.3 percent from 2006.

AAA has been tracking vacation costs since 1950 when the average daily cost of meals and lodgings for a family of four was $13.