Daytrippers and the Maui Investment Property


June 12, 2015

If you own or are thinking about buying Maui real estate for use as a vacation rental, the money it generates can go a long way to paying your mortgage, if you needed one. If no mortgage, you will steadily earn back what you invested, and may even be able to sell for a nice profit when you feel that you are ready to move on. Maui’s status as a popular vacation destination throughout the world isn’t going away any time soon. Tourism is our economy’s largest industry, and while it may fluctuate through the years, those vacationers keep coming. That’s why the relatively new trend of daytrips is worth following.

Daytrips refer to vacationers who come to visit a neighbor island just for the day, and lately, it has been linked as a possible cause of lower visitor spending. Some islands are feeling the effects more than others. For example, the Big Island saw almost a 10 percent drop in spending in April, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA). During that month, there were 10,114 daytrippers who came to the island, which was a 20.7 percent increase from April of 2014. In fact, the total number of visitors that came to the Big Island increased by 6.9 percent, year-over-year, and yet total visitor spending fell by 9.7 percent to $130.1 million.

On the other hand, Kauai saw a 20.3 percent increase in daytrippers to 10,453 visitors in April, which accounted for 11.3 of the island’s visitors, which was up by 4.3 percent overall. Despite the increase in the number of visitors, spending only increased by 0.2 percent to $116.9 million.

As for Maui County, which includes Lanai and Molokai, each island saw a different trend. Lanai’s daytrippers increased by 7.4 percent, and those visitors made up a whopping 57.5 percent of all Lanai’s visitors. Spending fell by 0.1 percent. The prevalence of daytrippers in Lanai has been linked to low availability of accommodations. Meanwhile, Molokai saw an overall drop in visitor arrivals by 16.4 percent, and 45 percent of the total was made up of daytrippers. Spending fell to $1.7 million, compared with $2.3 million in April of last year.

Maui’s trend might surprise you. Our number of daytrippers actually fell by 12.1 percent to 11,290 in April. That number represents just 5.6 percent of our visitors. Arrivals were up by 2.5 percent, overall. Unsurprisingly, visitor spending jumped by 8.2 percent to $343.1 million. Let’s let that sink in a little.

The link between daytrippers and inadequate accommodations on Lanai is something to think about. Having a high availability in accommodations is a likely factor for all the islands. That might say a lot for Maui. The best case scenario involves fewer daytrippers and more guests who stay for more than a day. Otherwise, you lose the visitor spending that funnels into accommodations. Now, we’ve come full circle to renting out your Maui investment property as a vacation accommodation. Maui is already full of lures for vacationers who are willing to stay for extended periods and spend a little more for a better experience. All that’s left is for the shrewd investor to contribute to competitive accommodation choices for visitors, and to make a profit doing so.

We hope you’ve found this informative. If you require any assistance in your search for West Maui real estate, you’ll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. We would be happy to lend you our expertise through every step of the process. Mahalo!

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