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Maui visitor arrivals in April inch closer to pre-pandemic marks

HTA: County’s hotels and vacation rentals perform best in state

A long line of travelers waits to pass through Hawaii state agricultural inspection Thursday morning at Kahului Airport. Spurred by a strong U.S. Mainland market, Maui crept closer to the record visitor arrivals seen in 2019, reaching 178,105 arrivals in April, according to a recent Hawaii Tourism Authority report. The April arrivals were a little more than 70 percent of the historic high for the month — 249,076 set in 2019. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Spurred by a strong U.S. Mainland market, Maui crept closer to record visitor arrivals seen in 2019, according to a recent Hawaii Tourism Authority report.

The Valley Isle in April reached 178,105 arrivals, which is a little more than 70 percent of the historic high for the month — 249,076 arrivals set in 2019. With the exception of January, visitor arrivals have been spiking month over month since the reopening of tourism Oct. 15.

Maui in April had the state’s highest per person per day spending at about $206, per person per trip spending at $1,776 and total expenditures at $316 million. Visitor spending statistics were from the U.S. West, U.S. East and Japan only, according to the report.

Meanwhile, hotel rates continued to increase on Maui, which led the state in several key metrics, according to HTA’s recent Hawaii hotel performance report.

Maui hotels bested other counties in April in revenue per available room at $300, average daily rate at $483 and occupancy at 62 percent.

Maui’s luxury resort region of Wailea had room revenue of $420, with average daily rate at $773 and occupancy of 54.4 percent. The Lahaina/Kaanapali/Kapalua region had room revenue of $251, average daily rate at $399 and occupancy of nearly 63 percent.

The next highest metrics were found on Hawaii island, which had a room revenue at $175, average daily rate at $326 and occupancy of nearly 54 percent.

Vacation rentals, though, outperformed hotels in April, during which Maui County also led the state in vacation rental supply and unit demand. This spurred the county’s occupancy and average daily rates — also the highest in the state.

Maui County’s vacation rental supply in April was 241,900 available unit nights and unit demand was 169,950 unit nights. Occupancy was just over 70 percent, with an average daily rate of $263.

Oahu’s vacation rental supply was second to Maui’s with 132,500 available unit nights and unit demand at 90,700 unit nights, for an occupancy of 68.4 percent. However, Hawaii island had the next highest occupancy after Maui at 68.5 percent, while Kauai had the second-highest average daily rate of $294.

Hawaii in April continued to see a faster rebound in visitor arrivals than initially projected by economists.

Statewide, a total of 484,071 visitors arrived by air, compared with only 4,564 visitors who traveled to Hawaii in April 2020 when tourism was discouraged due to the onset of COVID-19 in the U.S. Total spending for visitors arriving in April this year was $811.4 million.

Maui County typically has a stronger U.S. visitor market than Oahu and Hawaii island. Now, due to pent-up demand and built-up savings, arrivals from the Mainland to Maui have been increasing month over month, with the exception of January.

Arrivals to Maui since the reopening have been, month by month: October, 23,103; November, 63,740; December, 90,605; January, 66,925; February, 92,608; and March, 170,750, according to HTA data.

Next month, Maui is anticipated to have about 64,000 more air seats than it did in July 2019, according to HTA data.

In April, total trans-Pacific air capacity increased to 3,614 flights compared to 426 flights a year ago. Fights include Honolulu, 1,707; Kahului, 1,171; Kona, 528; Lihue, 195; and Hilo, 13.

Total trans-Pacific air seats in April were 727,980, including 370,909 scheduled air seats serving Honolulu, 228,221 to Kahului, 92,520 to Kona, 34,172 to Lihue and 2,158 to Hilo.

For full reports, visit hawaiitourismauthority.org.

* Kehaulani Cerizo can be reached at kcerizo@mauinews.com.

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