Maui occupancy down, but room rate up

Maui’s hotel occupancy rate slipped 1.1 percentage points in February to 82.6 percent while hotels made more money for their rooms, according to the monthly update from Hospitality Advisors LLC.

The Valley Isle hotel occupancy rate trailed the state’s overall, which rose from 83.2 percent in February 2012 to 85.6 percent in the same month this year. Maui’s earnings for rooms, however, led the state and all other islands, except the Kohala Coast of the Big Island.

Maui’s average daily room rate in February grew 4.9 percent to $294.30, and its revenue per available room increased 3.5 percent to $243.09.

The cheapest Valley Isle rooms, on average, can be found in the Lahaina-Kaanapali-Kapalua region where room rates rose 3.9 percent to $265.88. On the Kohala Coast, average daily room rates went up 8.2 percent to $310.24.

Wailea’s hotel room rates increased 6 percent to $438.74 per day, the highest in the state, while “other Maui” hotel daily rates were up 5.2 percent to $327.47.

Maui hotels also led the state in revenue per available room – up 12 percent to $385.65 in Wailea, up 6.3 percent in “other Maui” to $270.16 and up 0.6 percent to $218.66 in Lahaina-Kaanapali-Kapalua.

Overall, the increased revenue generated a 7.1 percent increase in per person daily spending, which included visitors traveling to get married (up 23.2 percent) and free and independent travelers (up 9.1 percent), according to Hospitality Advisors.

The demand for high-end hotels remained high as occupancy for the luxury resort region of Wailea rose 4.4 percentage points to 87.9 percent, the market analysts said.

Statewide average daily room rates rose 13.1 percent to $233.30 to set an all-time high for the month of February, Hospitality Advisors said. And, as a result, room revenue per available room set a new record for any given month, rising 16.4 percent to $199.70.

The statewide hotel performance yielded $318 million in room revenue, a record for the month of February. Occupancy gains were supported by a 6.8 percent increase in visitor arrivals by air as reported by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Oahu’s average daily room rate was $209.18, a record high for the month and up 20.7 percent from the previous February. Hawaii Island’s rate was $225.05, up 9.7 percent, and Kauai’s rate was $227.97, up 12.3 percent.

For revenue per available room, Oahu’s figure went up 23.5 percent to $187.84. The Big Island’s per room earnings grew 19.5 percent to $175.54, and Kauai’s revenue amount rose 23.1 percent to $187.85. All of those islands’ room revenue figures set monthly records.

“Hawaii’s hotel industry had a remarkable February and is well on its way to set a new first quarter record in hotel revenue,” said Joseph Toy, president and chief executive officer of Hospitality Advisors. “The strong performance on Kauai and in particular the Big Island are noteworthy given that both islands had been lagging in the industry recovery for much of 2012.” Smith Travel Research compiles the hotel survey in conjunction with Hospitality Advisors. For February 2013, the survey included 159 properties representing 48,201 rooms, or 84.9 percent of all lodging properties with 20 rooms or more in the state, including full service, limited service and condominium hotels.

The survey generally excludes properties under 20 units, such as small bed-and-breakfast operations, youth hostels, single-family vacation rentals and time-share units no longer available for hotel use.

* Brian Perry can be reached at