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Maui County’s hotel revenues, occupancy top state in June

First half of 2021 is still below pre-pandemic levels

Maui County hotels beat out the rest of the state last month with the highest occupancy, highest room rates and highest revenue per available room.

Hotel room rates in Maui County in June even surpassed pre-pandemic levels, with an average daily rate of $498 per day last month, up 26.3 percent from June 2019. Revenue per available room in June was $394, up 24.1 percent from the same month in 2019, according to a Hawaii Tourism Authority report released earlier this month.

The higher rates and revenues were despite occupancy levels that are still lower than before the pandemic. Maui County’s hotel occupancy in June was at 79.2 percent, which is down 1.4 percentage points from 2019.

Statewide, average daily rates were at $320 in June, up 14.2 percent from 2019, and revenue per available room was $247, which is up 4.8 percent over June 2019. But occupancy levels were lower compared to pre-pandemic, with 77 percent occupancy in June, down 6.9 percentage points from June 2019.

At the mid-year point, the report showed how the pandemic continues to affect the state’s hotels.

Hawaii hotel revenue per available room from January to June was $141, down 37.3 percent from the first six months of 2019.

Occupancy was at 48.1 percent, down 32.3 percentage points from the first six months of 2019.

But average daily room rates were at $293 for the first half of this year, which is up 4.8 percent from the same time frame in 2019.

Total statewide hotel revenues for the first half of 2021 were $1.3 billion, a decline of 41 percent from 2019. Room supply was at 9.2 million room nights, down 5.9 percent from 2019. Room demand was 4.4 million room nights, down 43.7 percent from 2019.

HTA President and CEO John De Fries said he is pleased with the upward trend as the year goes along.

“It’s a positive sign to see hotel accommodations statewide reporting an upward rise, knowing how many local workers and families are benefiting from the return of the domestic market,” De Fries said in a news release.

Even as revenue per available room and occupancy are still down for the first six months of this year and nowhere near pre-pandemic levels, he said, “it’s encouraging to see the steady comeback of jobs and opportunities for kamaaina that weren’t there a year ago.”

While the return of visitors has provided a dose of optimism for the industry, it has frustrated community members who have complained of overcrowding and tourists behaving poorly, prompting some residents to stage a “take back the beach” rally earlier this year. Officials have also been mulling ways to curb rising visitor counts, with Maui County Council members introducing bills to place a moratorium on new visitor accommodations and to reserve half of beach parking for residents.

Other islands have also seen a surge in tourists and hotel occupancy, though like Maui have not quite reached pre-pandemic numbers.

In June, Hawaii island hotels reported revenue per available room at $281, up 43.9 percent from June 2019, and an average daily rate of $356, up 42.8 percent from 2019. On Kauai, revenue per available room was $266, up 27.7 percent from 2019, with an average daily rate at $339, up 21 percent from June 2019. On Oahu, revenue per available room was $171, down 19.8 percent compared to June 2019, while the average daily rate was $227, down 6.5 percent from June 2019.

It is no surprise that Maui’s luxury resort region of Wailea carried the highest revenue per available room in the state with $595 in June, which is up 5.9 percent from June 2019. Wailea hotels also had an average daily rate of $790 in June, up 28 percent from June 2019. But occupancy was down 15.7 percentage points from pre-pandemic levels at 75.3 percent in June.

The Lahaina/Kaanapali/Kapalua region’s revenue per available room was $357, up 32.3 percent from June 2019. Its average daily rate was $437 last month, up 31.6 percent from June 2019. The area’s occupancy of 81.7 percent in June was up 0.4 percentage points from June 2019.

Meanwhile, vacation rentals statewide in June saw less supply and demand and lower average daily rates from June 2019. But occupancy rose slightly due to a reduction in supply levels.

In June, Maui County had the largest vacation rental supply of all four counties, with 227,300 available unit nights, down 16 percent from June 2019. Unit demand was 184,900 unit nights, down 12.1 percent, resulting in 81.3 percent occupancy, up 3.6 percentage points from 2019. The average daily rate in June was $267, down 31.4 percent from June 2019.

In the first half of 2021, Hawaii vacation rentals also lagged behind pre-pandemic totals.

Maui County’s vacation rental supply for the first half of 2021 was 1.4 million unit nights, which is up 1.6 percent from 2019. Demand was 910,200 unit nights, down 19.3 percent from the first half of 2019.

Average occupancy year-to-date through June was 63.9 percent, which is down 20.6 percentage points from the same time in 2019.

Average daily rate was $270, down 14.6 percent for the first half of 2019.

Both reports can be found online at hawaiitourismauthority.org/research/infrastructure-research/.

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

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