Hawaii Wholesaler Looks at 2012/2013 Booking Patterns

Hawaii wholesaler Condominium Connection has compared 2013 Hawaii booking and pricing levels with those of 2012, revealing changing patterns and higher rates on the horizon for winter 2013.
Joseph Fienberg, president and CEO of Condominium Connection, says more people are now either booking earlier or later than in recent years. “Some 35 percent of our Canadian business is being booked 180 to 240 days out, while 38 percent of our United States business is coming inside 45 days. Reservations booked more than six months out will benefit from the best rates; however, inside the 45 day travel window, we sometimes see some price reductions for unsold inventory. However, if the properties are near a sell-out, we often see much higher rates. Booking closer to the arrival date is something that we predict in the future will most of the times result in paying more because the properties are rapidly discontinuing last minute sales.”
Fienberg’s analysis shows traditional high demand times buck these trends and will see little or no discounting. Travel during the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday in November, Christmas week and February’s Valentine’s Day/President’s Day holidays will sell out earlier and pricing will be higher as the properties now are much better at predicting demand. He says the first quarter of 2013 is already showing strong demand and increased rates over last year.
He recommends that travel agents book early to avoid anticipated winter price hikes. “Waiting for the last minute during the Winter 2013 season will be a mistake because many properties will sell out and not discount at all,” Fienberg says. “We are currently seeing higher average prices, as the majority of the condos and hotels are now more efficient at maximizing revenue through sophisticated, very fluid yield management systems. We used to have one rate for the entire winter, but now there are three to seven pricing levels that are managed in real-time based on demand. We’ve seen prices change hourly sometimes.”
Maui remains the number one destination in Hawaii, followed closely by Oahu. Kauai and the Big Island of Hawaii are still popular, but less traveled. The best rates and availability in the Islands are now found in the Waikoloa area of the Big Island which has more inventory relative to demand.

For more information, visit www.condoconnection.com.

Photo courtesy of the HVCB and Rob Garnett