County hotels outperform state in 2 of 3 key metrics
Maui County hotels led the state in two out of three measures of business performance in 2017, according to a year-end report by the Hawai’i Tourism Authority.
The county’s hotels outperformed the rest of the state in average daily room rate at $353.04, a 7.1 percent improvement over 2016; and in revenue per available room at $272.15, an 8.9 percent increase from the previous year.
Maui County hotels finished second to Oahu in the percentage of hotel rooms occupied last year. Oahu hotels reported an occupancy rate for last year of 83.3 percent, down 0.7 percentage points, while Maui’s hotels recorded average occupancies of 77.1 percent, up 1.2 percentage points, for the year. Kauai reported occupancies of 75.7 percent, up 3 percentage points, and the Big Island saw occupancies of 74.4 percent, up 5.7 percentage points.
Statewide, hotels had occupancies of 80 percent, up 1 percentage point; average daily rates were $264.43, up 4.1 percent; and room revenue was $211.60, up 5.4 percent.
The state’s hotel performances last year came as a surprise to authority tourism researchers.
“Coming into 2017, the outlook was soft for the hotel industry, particularly in the third quarter, but the rates that hotels commanded, and the revenues generated, turned out to be far greater than anyone anticipated on a statewide level,” said Jennifer Chun, the authority’s director of tourism research.
Growth in the state’s hotel industry was not evenly distributed among the islands, she said.
“While Neighbor Island hotels performed well in 2017, Waikiki hotels, with the state’s largest concentration of rooms, did not enjoy the same level of success,” Chun said. Revenue per available room “was flat, and occupancy, even though it was the highest in the state, was still down slightly compared to 2016.”
The month of December was an “exceptional month” for hotels on the Neighbor Islands, she said, singling out Maui County’s average daily rate ($477.22, up 5.6 percent from December 2016) as being “head and shoulders above every other county, led by the remarkable performance of the Wailea resort region.”
In December, Wailea hotels charged an average daily room rate of $772.65, up 7.5 percent from the same month last year. Wailea’s revenue per room reached $631.92, up 9.5 percent for the month. And, its occupancy rate of 81.8 percent, up 1.5 percentage points, was second only to Waikiki, which was 82.6 percent, down 1.3 percentage points from December 2016.
The Lahaina-Kaanapali-Kapalua region reported room revenue growth of 8 percent to $280 and average daily room rates up 5.8 percent to $374 in December, with occupancy rates increasing 1.5 percentage points to 74.9 percent.
For December, Maui County’s hotel occupancy rate was 75.1 percent, up 0.4 percentage points. And, its revenue per available room was $358.35, up 6.2 percent.
The authority reported that for key performance statistics for Hawaii hotels from 1990 to 2017, last year marked the sixth year in a row of growth for both revenue per available room and average daily room rate.
The Hawaii Hotel Performance Report is produced using hotel survey data compiled by STR Inc. The survey generally excludes properties with fewer than 20 lodging units, such as bed-and-breakfast accommodations, youth hostels, vacation rentals, cottages, individually rented condominiums and time-share units.
In December, the survey included 166 properties, representing 48,876 rooms, or 90.4 percent of all lodging properties with 20 or more rooms in the islands.
To view the authority’s statistics, go to www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/research/ research/infrastructure-research/.
* Brian Perry can be reached at email@example.com.