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Wailea hotel prices spur state-high room revenue and daily rates

Maui County hotels see dip in occupancy in January

The sidewalks along Lahaina’s Front Street are busy with visitors Wednesday afternoon. As tourism returns and Maui County has nearly matched Oahu in visitor arrivals, the county’s hotels lead the state in room revenue and average daily rates, though occupancy continues to be far below what it was last year. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos

Due in part to sky-high prices in Wailea, Maui County hotels in January led the state in room revenue and average daily rates but saw a dip in occupancy after a steady increase in recent months, according to a recent Hawaii Tourism Authority report.

Occupancy, revenue and daily rates are still down from January 2020, one of the last months before the COVID-19 pandemic set in and travel ground to a halt.

Maui County hotels in January collected $99 in revenue per available room, down 73.2 percent from January 2020. Average daily rates, however, hit $451, barely 6 percent down from the same time last year. Occupancy was at 21.9 percent in January, down 55.1 percentage points from the same time last year, according to the report.

Maui’s high revenue and average daily rates were due in part to the luxury resort region of Wailea, which had room revenue of $153 (down 75 percent from the same time last year), an average daily rate of $807 (up 12.5 percent) and occupancy at 18.9 percent (down 66.3 percent). Wailea was the only area in the state with average daily rates higher than at the same time last year prior to the pandemic, aside from the Maui County luxury category that averaged daily rates of $898, a 16.9 increase over January 2020.

The Lahaina/Kaanapali/Kapalua region had room revenue of $69 (down 77.3 percent), average daily rates of $367 (down 7.4 percent) and occupancy at 18.7 percent (down 57.6 percentage points).

Lahaina’s Front Street shows signs of life Wednesday

Statewide, as COVID-19 continues to impact tourism, hotels reported continued declines in room revenue and daily rates along with occupancy rates as compared to January 2020.

Room revenue statewide decreased to $58 (down 77.8 percent), while average daily rates fell to $251 (down 20.2 percent) and occupancy declined to 23.3 percent (down 60.2 percentage points).

Kauai saw some of the lowest numbers with the Garden Island following stricter quarantine rules. On Dec. 2, Kauai temporarily suspended its participation in the Safe Travels program, which allow visitors to bypass quarantine by getting a negative COVID-19 test from a trusted travel partner. Kauai instead made it mandatory for travelers to quarantine. Kauai rejoined the Safe Travels program and implemented measures for testing and lesser quarantine times on Jan. 5, the HTA report said.

Kauai hotels’ room revenue was at $31 in January (down 87.9 percent), with average daily rates at $168 (down 48.5 percent) and occupancy at a state-low 18.4 percent (down 60.1 percentage points).

Oahu hotels in January had room revenue of $40 (down 82 percent), with average daily rates at $168 (down nearly 34 percent) and occupancy at 23.6 percent (down 63.6 percentage points).

Hawaii island hotels brought in a room revenue of $72 (down 71.9 percent), average daily rates at $268 (down 14.1 percent) and occupancy at a state-high 26.9 percent (down 55.4 percentage points).

Demand for vacation rentals is also much lower than a year ago, according to an HTA report released in late February.

Maui County had the largest vacation rental supply of all four counties in January, with 174,400 available unit nights, which was down 31.7 percent from January 2020. Unit demand was 69,100 unit nights, down 68.4 percent, with 39.6 percent occupancy, which was down 46.1 percent. Average daily rates were $289, which was down 24.8 percent.

Overall, the total monthly supply of statewide vacation rentals was 433,000 unit nights, down 44.3 percent, while monthly demand was 167,500 unit nights, down 73.9 percent. The average monthly unit occupancy was 38.7 percent, down 53.1 percentage points.

Oahu had a vacation rental supply of 97,400 available unit nights in January, down 56 percent from the previous year, with unit demand of 45,200 unit nights, down 74.8 percent, and occupancy of 46.4 percent, down 34.6 percentage points. Average daily rates were $198, down 14.6 percent.

Hawaii island’s vacation rental supply was 90,400 available unit nights, down 52.2 percent. Unit demand was 43,000 unit nights, down 72.2 percent, with occupancy of 47.5 percent, down 34.1 percentage points. Average daily rates were $217, down 11.3 percent.

Kauai had the fewest number of available unit nights in January with 70,800, down 36.8 percent. Unit demand was 10,300 unit nights, down 88.5 percent, with occupancy at 14.5 percent, down 65.4 percentage points. Average daily rates were $308.

In January, legal short-term rentals were allowed to operate on Oahu, Hawaii island and Kauai as long as they were not being used as a quarantine location, the report said. In Maui County as of Jan. 19, legal vacation rentals could no longer provide lodging for people subject to the quarantine, and travelers who required paid commercial lodging had to quarantine at a hotel or motel.

Previously, interisland travelers awaiting their pre-travel test results were allowed to use a vacation rental as a place to quarantine in Maui County, the report said.

* Melissa Tanji can be reached at mtanji@mauinews.com.

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