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We present systematic predictions for light enhancement in optical nanowires with nanoscale air holes in the core through numerical modeling. We show that the light intensity within such holes is strongly dependent on the hole size and refractive index of the host material and that light enhancement becomes significant only when the hole size is less than a critical value: 70 nm for silica and F2 nanowires and 50 nm for a As2S3 nanowire. High index As2S3 nanowires exhibit nearly eight times higher average mode intensity than silica glass for hole sizes of less than 10 nm. Such intensity enhancements open up new device opportunities; for example, filling nanoscale holes within silicon nanowires with silicon nanocrystals enables 30% enhancement of the nonlinear coefficient.