Maui hotel occupancy dropped to 59 percent in April, an all-time low.
Even in October 2001, when the statewide figure was down to 59 percent following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Maui's rate dropped no lower than 62.2 percent.
Sharply lower prices offered to tourists have failed to bring them to the Neighbor Islands.
The statewide occupancy rate was 64.1 percent, buoyed somewhat by Oahu's performance.
Waikiki occupancy rose slightly, from 72.1 percent in April 2008 to 72.3 percent this April.
The Flash Report from Hospitality Advisors, released this morning, noted that the tourist head count dropped only 1.3 percent in April. The bigger drop in occupancy rates at resorts, hotels and condominiums was attributed to a move toward time-share rooms.
Time shares are not part of the voluntary survey, although most rooms in hostelries with 20 rooms or more are counted.
Time shares, B&Bs and the like aside, the overall occupancy drop statewide was 5.1 percentage points, from 69.2 percent last year to 64.1 percent this April.
Maui's drop was about twice as big in proportion, from 69.6 percent to 59 percent.
Because of discounting, the drop in revenue for the lodging industry was 12.3 percent.
Luxury, the highest price class in the Flash Report, dropped 7 percentage points to 65 percent statewide, and much more, 12.3 percentage points, on Maui. Because Maui has the largest proportion of luxury properties, it was hit harder by the swing away from expensive rooms.
The average daily rate - a rate few if any travelers are paying these days - was sliced from $382 to $350 on Maui, but still they did not come: The occupancy rate in April for luxury was 59.1 percent.
Thus, revenue per available luxury room (RevPAR) dropped a huge 25 percent to $207.
Possibly some former luxury travelers made a thrifty move to the next lowest price class, upscale, because statewide upscale hotels managed a 1 percent increase in occupancy, the only class to advance.
Maui upscale hotels, however, also shrank, from 70.8 percent to 64 percent. Rates were cut less here, only $17 to $201, so RevPAR shrank but not as drastically - it was down 17 percent to $129.
Luxury varies by island. While on Maui, a rack rate of $200 lands a room in the upscale category, on Oahu $200 rates as luxury. (The difference is, in large part, the more extensive grounds of Maui's resorts, with their golf courses, compared with cramped Waikiki.)
But Maui midprice and economy rooms had results about as poor as the fancier places. Economy was down to just 51.4 percent occupancy on Maui in April, at listed prices of $126. (Maui does not have any rooms in the lowest price class, budget, which were selling for $72 - and often less - in Waikiki.)
"April 2009 is an important benchmark as we can now measure year-over-year changes of this current and deep market downturn that started in April 2008," said Joseph Toy, president of Hospitality Advisors.
April 2008 also marked the failure of Aloha Airlines and ATA, which disproportionately affected the Neighbor Islands and especially Maui.
Toy expects the declines to continue through the end of this year.
On Kauai, occupancy declined from 69.9 percent to 56.9 percent. On the Big Island, it dropped from 59.3 percent to 54.9 percent.
* Harry Eagar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org