Hawaii's Hotel Occupancy Rates and Prices Increase

Pacific Business News is reporting that average hotel room rates in Hawaii rose 4.7 percent last week, year over year, while occupancy rates increased by 4.8 percentage points, according to Hospitality Advisors LLC and Smith Travel Research.

Hotels throughout the state were 78.6 percent full during the week ending March 24 as the average statewide daily room climbed to $207.11. Oahu hotels saw the strongest growth in occupancy, up 7.5 percentage points to 84.1 percent as the average daily room rate rose 8.8 percent to $178.28. Hawaii Island saw the greatest jump in hotel room rates—up 12.8 percent to $203.47, while average occupancy rose 4.2 percentage points to 63.2 percent.

Kauai’s 63.2 percent occupancy rate was 1.6 percentage points above last year, while the average room rate was up 2 percent to $216.22. Occupancy and room rates at Maui hotels were relatively flat. The occupancy rate was 81.6 percent, a 0.6 percentage point increase from last year, while the average room rate was $269.42, up 0.5 percent from last year.

Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, said that visitor spending for February 2012 contributed $1.1 billion into the state’s economy, up 8.5 percent over last year, bringing the year-to-date total to $2.44 billion. "At this pace, we are not only exceeding our year-over-year expenditures, but will surpass the peak year of 2007 and are currently ahead of the aggressive targets set for 2012," he said.
Price increases, however, can make for wary travelers, and Hawaiian hotels are also trying to maintain their appeal to mainland travelers. Tamara Aalto, product manager at tour operator All About Hawaii, told Travel Agent that her company has heard "some concern" not so much over the cost of hotels, but over the cost of flying to the islands. "Hotels are offsetting this with their own discounts and added values that still allow travelers to experience a great vacation at a reasonable price," she notes. For example, AAH's deal with Hyatt's hotels on the island include an extra night, free breakfast and a free rental car, increasing the value of the vacation. "Travel agents should encourage clients to look at entire package price and value, rather than the cost of individual trip components. That's where tour operators play a huge role."

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