County luxury hotels outperform rest in state

HTA reports average daily rate of $674.89 for luxury rooms in July

Maui County luxury hotels and Wailea resorts led the state in average daily room rates and revenue per available room in July, the month before Hurricane Lane menaced the islands, according to a monthly hotel performance report from the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Maui County luxury hotels reported an average room rate of $674.89 in July, 5.8 percent more than the same month last year, the authority reported. Meanwhile, room revenue for Maui luxury properties in Wailea and on Lanai rose 11.4 percent to $563.60 for the same period.

By region, Wailea was easily the cream of hotel properties in the state, posting average room rates of $621.26 in July, an 8.4 percent increase over a year ago, and Wailea room revenue climbed 11.7 percent to $562.74.

For comparison’s sake, the statewide average daily room rate in July was $295.55, up 4.9 percent from July 2017, and the state’s revenue per available room was $247.63, up 3.6 percent. For hotels in Maui County, the average rate was $404.05 in July, up 8.8 percent, and room revenue increased 10.1 percent to $327.98.

The only Maui County performance that wasn’t best in the state was in room occupancy rates. Statewide, room occupancy in July dropped 1 percentage point to 83.8 percent compared with July last year. Maui County’s hotel occupancy rate was 2.6 percentage points lower than the state’s average, posting a hotel occupancy rate of 81.2 percent, up 0.9 percentage point from July 2017.

Wailea resorts, however, reported the state’s highest occupancy rate, 90.6 percent, a 2.7 percentage point improvement from a year ago. Other occupancy rates ranged from 80 percent in “other Maui County” hotel properties to 82.1 percent in Lahaina, Kaanapali and Kapalua.

In July, Oahu’s hotel occupancy rate was 87.9 percent, down 1.3 percentage point. Kauai County’s occupancy rate was 78.8 percent, up 1 percentage point, and in hard-luck, volcano-afflicted Hawaii County, July occupancy rates fell 4.7 percentage points to 74.2 percent.

The tourism authority reported that Big Island hotels saw revenue per available room decline 6 percent to $183, while average daily room rates remained unchanged at $247.

The overall outlook for Hawaii’s hotel industry for the remainder of this year and all of next year “is positive,” the authority said, citing forecasts released by STR Inc., which produces market forecasts for hotel performance in conjunction with economists at the consulting firm of Tourism Economics.

The economists predict statewide revenue per available room growing 5.5 percent to $238 in 2019, supported by a 4.9 percent increase in average daily room rates to $292 and an increase in occupancy to 81.3 percent, up 0.5 percentage point.

Maui County hotels have led the state in performance for the first half of this year, and they are expected to end the year strong with growth of revenue per available room to $299, up 9.6 percent, and average daily room rate to $385, up 9 percent.

Occupancy should be up to around 77.5 percent, up 0.4 percentage point. In 2019, Maui County hotels are expected to continue increases in room revenue to $315, up 5.7 percent, and in average rates to $404, up 5 percent. Occupancy was forecast to climb to 78 percent in 2019.

The statistics on hotel performance are derived from hotel survey data compiled by STR, the largest survey of its kind in Hawaii, according to the authority. The survey generally excludes properties with fewer than 20 lodging units, such as bed-and-breakfast operations, single-family vacation rentals, individually rented vacation condominiums and timeshare units.

In July, the survey included 165 properties representing 48,749 rooms, or 90.2 percent of all lodging properties with 20 or more rooms.

For the full report, go to www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/media/2453/hawaii-hotels-performance-07-2018.pdf.

* Brian Perry can be reached at bperry@mauinews.com.