Survey: Hawaii tourism continues to recover

AP News
Posted: Oct 11, 2010 8:12 PM
Survey: Hawaii tourism continues to recover

Hawaii's tourism industry continues to recover from the Great Recession, according to the results of a new survey by a hotel, tourism and real estate consulting services firm.

Hospitality Advisors LLC said Monday that its survey found statewide hotel occupancy averaged 75.7 percent in August, a 6.3 percent increase over August 2009, while the average daily room rate rose by 1.8 percent to $181.49.

The rate increase combined with the occupancy gains to lead to an 11.1 percent increase in Hawaii's room revenues per available room, or RevPAR, to $137.39, the firm said.

The August results capped a relatively strong summer compared with last year's weak summer season due to the severe economic downturn, the company said.

"Hawaii's summer season has enjoyed substantial improvement over the last two years, and Waikiki in particular has had several sold out periods during the summer, which is something we haven't seen in a long while," Hospitality Advisors President and CEO Joseph Toy said.

However, Toy cautioned that while the percentage gains appear strong, the comparisons are being made against a weak 2009.

"While demand is strengthening, the recovery remains uneven, with most of the improvement occurring on Oahu and Maui," Toy said. "A lot of capacity remains in the market that will need to be absorbed before we can start to see real growth in room revenue. Still, the market is headed in the right direction."

Hotel occupancy was reported higher on all Hawaiian islands in August, compared with August 2009, according to the survey.

Oahu had the highest occupancy rate at 83.7 percent, followed by 73.4 percent on Maui, 62.4 percent on Kauai and 60.6 percent on the Big Island.