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Old 09-28-2012, 08:03 PM   #31
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This is my first foray into the DVC boards, having just become a member two days ago. It was during an absolutely amazing stay at Aulani that was so wonderful we just had to lock in the ability to keep going for the next 50 years. We've looked at DVC before (we are truly the ideal market--nearly all of our vacations are Disney), but didn't take the plunge until Aulani stole our hearts.

That being said, my guess from last week is that 25-40% of the guests are Japanese. The resort definitely caters to them--all menus and signage, for example are bilingual (and the second language isn't Spanish like it is here in SoCal). Breakfast features a "Japanese breakfast" and there is an Asian station at the buffet. There is a chapel next to the resort that featured a steady stream of lavish Japanese weddings.

Having traveled to Japan twice (with stops at TDR, of course), and with a wife who had a college roomate from Japan, I'm at least passingly familiar with Japanese culture and habits. I do know that prices at Aulani (which often get panned online for being high, from the room rates to the food prices) seemed rather reasonable to me and would be seen as a serious bargain to the typical middle-class Japanese tourist. I suspect that they can do a fabulous, over-the-top destination wedding at Aulani for the same price or less than a run-of-the-mill wedding back home.

Also, there was about as much space at the HNL airport allocated to the Asian airlines as to the American ones. We even saw United and Delta flights going to Japan (and to second-tier cities like Kyoto and ***uoka, not just Tokyo), in addition to all the JAL, Asiana, etc.

I guess the bottom line is that, despite what the demographic trends may say about the recent past and forecast into the future, my admittedly limited personal experience is that Disney is smiling all the way to the bank with the money they're getting from the Japanese market at Aulani.
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:35 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by tomandrobin View Post
Unlike you, I have continually given you facts and numbers to back my posts.
No, you post aggregated sales figures and append superficial assessments that "a lot" of said sales are coming from buyers with supposed Japanese sounding surnames. As opposed to my prior posts with hard numbers howing that we are not in the boom Japanese-mass-travel-to-Hawaii-economy-of-the-past some Disney apologists insist never slowed down. Yes, we all know the recession "ended" way back in 2009 and that happy days are here again... And yes, let's ignore the fact that everyone who has been on a DCL cruise in the past year hasn't had to withstand an unprecedented, withering and frankly ugly level of sales-pitch-a-rama for Aulani from clearly stressed DVC sales reps.....

Originally Posted by tomandrobin View Post
You keep posting gibberish
Translation: you just called the

So let's close with some words of wisdom from another related thread (emphasis added to relevant highlights):

Originally Posted by mjc2003 View Post
My wife has travelled to Hawaii extensively for work, and she is a tourism "expert" due to the nature of her work.
Indeed she thinks their focus was on the Japanese markets, and opening so close to the tsunami surely has had an affect. However, she also added that Japanese tourists are rarely repeat visitors to Hawaii year after year (whereas Americans have a tendency to be more habitual with their travel patterns, Japanese like to try new things), so she had questions from the beginning as to whether the Japanese would be willing to buy into DVC with what is essentially an annual commitment. She said this is really DVC's first foray into being reliant on a foreign market, and she questions how much they were truly aware of the vacation habits of their intended primary market. She added that Japanese are generally "rate card" travelers.

Her opinion all along has been that the Japanese are generally not going to be timeshare buyers in Hawaii.
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:49 AM   #33
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This thread has gotten completely away from the topic of Aulani availability, it is now closed.

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