Maui hotel occupancies continued to gain in April, according to the survey released today by Hospitality Advisors.
The Maui rate, 66.7 percent, would not be considered good even though April is a "shoulder" month, but it was a lot better than the 56.2 percent in April 2009.
The statewide rate was 65.4 percent, also a gain from the 62.8 percent of the year before.
Only Maui showed a significant gain. Oahu dropped from 70.1 percent to 69.9 percent; Kauai was even at 54.1 percent; and the Big Island rose slightly from 54.3 percent to 54.9 percent.
Joseph Toy, president of Hospitality Advisors, noted that occupancies have increased in seven of the past eight months.
Operators continued to discount and even increased their come-ons, since the average daily rate declined $4 to $176. Maui operators cut rates much more, by $17 to an average of $228, which might explain the bigger gain in nights sold.
Revenue per available room, known as RevPAR, gained $2 statewide to $115 despite lower prices, but Maui operators showed a much bigger gain in RevPAR, by $14 to $152.
Wailea operators cut prices an average of $20 a night, which although larger than the Maui average in absolute terms was relatively small compared to the South Maui resort's rates.
Wailea RevPAR gained $18 to $263, $110 better than the island average.
Wailea's average room rate was $356, while West Maui was under $200, and "other Maui" (primarily Kihei) was $260.
Other Neighbor Island operators did less discounting, and their occupancy rates didn't budge. Nor did their RevPARs, which were $110 on the Big Island and $102 on Kauai.
Despite its very high rates, Wailea enjoyed the biggest percentage gain in occupancy of any subcategory in the survey, up from 62.5 percent to 73.8 percent.
It wasn't only Wailea. The luxury segment outperformed all cheaper hostelries during April. On Maui, the mid-price segment was still in recession mode, with 57.9 percent occupancy. That was 5.3 percentage points higher than the year before, but anything under 60 percent is very poor by Maui's historical experience.
"As in past cycles, Oahu and Maui tend to recover first, with luxury and upscale hotels leading the way with visitors trading up in travel due to attractive price discounting," Toy said.
The voluntary survey is conducted by Smith Travel Research for Hospitality Advisors.
* Harry Eagar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.