Maui Hotel Occupancy Outstrips the Other Islands


April 30, 2010

Out of all the major Hawaiian islands, Maui was the one that recorded the largest year-over-year gain in hotel occupancy. According to Hospitality Advisors, we saw a 5.5 percent increase to 67.3 percent for the week that ended on April 17.

Room rates were down 10 percent to $218.35 per night, but although it’s still the highest rate in the state, vacationers are quick to take advantage of the reduction. As for the state, occupancy rose only 0.8 percentage points to 66.5 percent year-over-year, and room rates fell 6.4 percent to $170.23.

Why is this news particularly gratifying to hear? First of all, those who have invested in Maui real estate, including the operation of a vacation rental home or condo, share the benefits of Maui’s occupancy spike. Second, the cost reduction of Maui hotel rates is significant but it’s still the highest rate in the state, and yet Maui was still the island that saw, by far, the highest percent increase in occupancy during the period reported. So our gorgeous island is a more attractive vacation destination to visitors despite a higher cost in accommodations. This can mean only one thing: Maui is worth it and vacationers know it.

For the week ending on April 17, Oahu hotels saw a small decline in occupancy despite a $146.68 per night room rate. Kauai occupancy dropped a full 5.3 percentage points despite a 10.6 percent decline in which room rates fell to $180.83. Big Island occupancy was unchanged despite a 5.1 percent drop to $173.71 per night. This information came from a survey of around a hundred properties representing about 70 percent of the state’s total hotel room inventory and was conducted by Smith Travel Research and Hospitality Advisors.

Obviously hotel occupancy will not be identical with vacation rental occupancy, but the same general trends should be clear in both. The overall message from what we’re seeing here is that if you do plan to purchase real estate in Hawaii, and especially if you plan to use your property as a vacation rental, Maui is a grade above the rest. And it’s not just us saying it. Our number of visitors is saying it.

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