Tourism Increases in Hawaii
HONOLULU (AP) - The number of occupied hotel rooms in Hawaii rose slightly in August despite a decline in the number of visitors from the U.S. mainland and Japan, according to a report from a tourism industry consultant.
The occupancy rate rose to 77.5 percent, a 1.8 percent increase over August 2010, as more people chose to stay in hotels, as opposed to timeshares or vacation rentals, and because more people from places like Canada, Australia and China visited Hawaii and stayed longer, the Hospitality Advisors report said.
The average price hotel goers paid also rose for the 14th straight month to $195.28, 7.4 percent higher than last August. That’s still below the rates in the low $200’s seen before the recession hit in 2008.
"We are climbing out but we’re not fully back to where we were during the peak," said Joseph Toy, president and CEO of Hospitality Advisors.
Toy said the gains on Oahu, especially the upscale market, and Kauai helped end the summer season on a high note but the increase in occupancy in August wasn’t enough to keep the overall summer rate from dropping 0.07 percentage points below last summer.
The occupancy rate for the year so far is 73.8 percent, up slightly from the 71.2 percent seen in the first eight months of last year. The average daily rate for the year-to-date is $190.13, compared with $174.82 last year.
In August, luxury hotels were the busiest in the industry, reporting an 83.2 percent occupancy rate.
Oahu had the highest occupancy rates in the state at 87 percent, thanks to more flights from Japan and Korea as well as the introduction of regular, non-stop service from Shanghai. Kauai hotels had the largest increase in occupancy, up 9 percent to 71.2 percent. The average room rate also jumped 11.6 percent to $216.90.
The market on the Big Island remained mostly flat with an occupancy rate of 59.5 percent and an average rate of $192.59.
Toy said bookings have been softer in October, traditionally a slow time for tourism, and some hotels are offering discounts and perks like rental cars. He said visitors are tending to wait until the last minute to book their trips, to take advantage of potential deals. However, Toy said that advance bookings for January, the beginning of the busiest travel quarter, are strong.