Maui News reports Maui's hotel occupancy up considerably in August

Maui’s hotel occupancy up considerably in August

-firm

Every other county also gained in visitors over steady summer

October 11, 2010 – By HARRY EAGAR, Staff Writer
Maui hotel occupancy bounded up by nearly 10 percentage points as the entire state enjoyed a “relatively strong summer,” according to the consulting firm Hospitality Advisors. 

Maui’s occupancy rate was 73.4 percent, not impressive for a normal August but much better than the 63.5 percent in August 2009, which was the depth of the downturn that began more than two years ago.

Operators kept prices stable at about $238 a night. The gain in business drove revenue per available room (RevPAR) up by $25 a night to $175.

Every county gained in occupancy and in RevPAR, but none nearly as much as Maui.

Oahu’s occupancy rate rose from 77.5 percent to 83.7 percent. Rack rates rose $5 to $154, and RevPAR rose almost $13 to $129.

Hawaii County operators cut prices a little – by $3 to $192 – which they have mostly resisted doing during this downturn. Occupancy improved slightly, from 56.3 percent last year to 60.6 percent this August. RevPAR rose $6 to $116.

Kauai operators, who also have generally resisted discounting, raised rates slightly, from $190 to $193, and saw their occupancy rate rise slightly, from 61.6 percent to 62.4 percent. RevPAR rose $3 to $120.

That gave a statewide August occupancy rate of 75.7 percent and a RevPAR of $137, an improvement of almost $14.

On Maui, gains were substantial in every price category but especially so in the midprice and economy categories. Economy rooms, charging $115 a night, zoomed from 47.4 percent occupancy to 66.1 percent.

Economy is relative in the survey conducted by Smith Travel Research for Hospitality Advisors. On Oahu, an economy hotel charges an average of $73 a night and $115 will almost get you an “upscale” room – those were going for $130 in August.

Economy rooms jumped in occupancy on Oahu, but not nearly as much as on Maui, from 73 percent to 81.8 percent. But there are many more economy rooms on Oahu, so relatively big percentage increases on Maui do not translate into very many room-nights sold.

Oahu has a category even cheaper than economy, budget, whose rooms went for an average $67 in August. Smith Travel does not consider that Maui has enough budget rooms to report.

“Waikiki in particular has had several sold-out periods during the summer,” said Joseph Toy, president of Hospitality Advisers. That is “something we haven’t seen in a long while.”

He added, “A lot of capacity remains in the market that will need to be absorbed before we can start to see real growth in room revenue. Still, the market is headed in the right direction.”

* Harry Eagar can be reached at heagar@mauinews.com.

Article from: October 11, 2010 Maui News