Maui’s July room rates reach a new high, but occupancy on the decline

Room rates for Maui hit $304.02 in July, a new high for the month, while overall hotel occupancy declined slightly to 73.7 percent, according to Hospitality Advisors and Smith Travel Research.

The average daily room rate increase was 9 percent, up from $279.93 in July 2012, the report released Sunday night said. The growth in room rates drove up Maui’s revenue per available room, or RevPAR, 8 percent compared to last July to $224.06.

Maui’s average daily room rates and RevPAR in July were significantly higher than the other major islands. Kauai had the next highest average daily room rate at $244.23, and Oahu had the second highest RevPAR at $194.19.

Maui’s occupancy rate fell 0.6 percentage points compared to July 2012. The report attributed the slight decline to a 3 percentage point decrease in hotel occupancy in the Lahaina-Kaanapali-Kapalua area for the month.

The luxury resort area of Wailea had another strong month with occupancy up 1.1 percentage points to 78.2 percent for July compared to last year. Room rates ($485.41, up 10 percent) and RevPAR ($379.59, up 12 percent) also were strong in July.

Looking at the other regions of Maui in July by occupancy rate, average daily room rate and RevPAR:

* Lahaina-Kaanapali-Kapalua, 74.2 percent, down 3.4 percentage points; $273.78, up 8 percent; $203.14, up 4 percent.

* Other Maui, 73.1 percent, up 2.5 percentage points, $339.51, up 8 percent; $248.18, up 12 percent.

Maui’s numbers reflected the general statewide trend for July, which showed increased hotel revenues but a dip in occupancy.

The $336 million in room revenue registered in Hawaii in July set a new room revenue record for any month, passing the previous mark set in January by 2 percent or $7 million. Average daily rate rose 12 percent to $241.63, which also was a new all-time high for any month.

However, occupancy fell slightly to 78.9 percent, down 2.9 percentage points. Although the average length of stay fell by 1.3 percent, visitor arrivals increased by 4.5 percent, primarily from the U.S. West (up 3.8 percent), U.S. East (up 5.3 percent), Australia (up 34.2 percent) and Korea (up 24.8 percent).

The record room rates offset the decline in occupancy, with revenue per available room setting a new high for July at $190.65, up 7.8 percent.

Oahu’s occupancy, though higher than Maui’s, was down 3.9 percentage points to 87.7 percent in July compared to last July. Occupancy was down on the island due to declining average length of stay, which decreased by more than a half day.

Room rates, $221.42 up 13 percent, and RevPAR, $194.19, up 9 percent, were new single monthly highs for the island.

Kauai and the Big Island had stronger visitor arrivals and longer average lengths of stay but their occupancies both declined in July compared to last July to 72.3 percent, off 3 percentage points, and 60.1 percent, down 4 percentage points, respectively.

Kauai hotels hit a new monthly high in daily room rates with $244.23 in July with RevPAR up 4 percent to $176.58. Big Island room rates registered a July high with $214.53, and RevPAR gained 5.4 percent to $128.93.

The July survey included 162 properties and 48,374 rooms, or 85.1 percent of all lodging properties with 20 or more rooms in Hawaii. The survey generally excludes properties with less than 20 units, such as small bed-and-breakfasts and single-family vacation rentals and condominiums.

* Lee Imada can be reached at