Hawaii hotel occupancy rates have hit a 10-year low and economic experts are forecasting a gloomy first quarter for 2009. Last week’s occupancy figures hovered at the 66 percent mark. Although these are tough numbers for Hawaii’s tourism industry, travel agents and their clients can expect to see a flurry of discounts and added-value extras.
Hotels are offering such enticements as free nights, discounted spa services, dining or shopping credits, late checkouts and even slashed daily parking rates. Hawaii residents (Kamaaina) will also see special hotel rates designed to tempt them to vacation closer to home and keep their vacation dollars flowing into The Islands’ economy.
The philosophy many hoteliers are following is to stress the value of a Hawaii vacation. In the long run, this is considered a better tactic than drastically slashing rates, since that’s a harder position to pivot from once the economy rebounds.