Thursday, August 23, 2001

Tourists soak up sun while lounging by the pool in June at the
Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort and Spa. Overall, the percent of
isle hotel rooms rented during July fell slightly from last year,
though tourist paid a bit more for each night's stay.

State’s drop in
hotel occupancy
raises concerns
for rest of year

A tourism official calls
the 3.3% point drop in
July 'disconcerting'

By Russ Lynch

Hotel occupancy dropped last month on every island and in nearly every segment on each island, according to a monthly report by hospitality industry consultancy PKF Hawaii LLC.

The firm reported a statewide occupancy average among hotels and resort condominiums of 79.9 percent for July, down 3.3 percentage points from 83.2 percent in July 2000.

Occupancy graph Art Room rates were up a little, averaging $164.33 a night last month, an increase of 4.8 percent from a year-earlier $156.73. But the income edge that hoteliers might have gained from that was largely wiped out by the lower occupancy, ending with average revenue per available room of $131.35, about flat from a year-earlier $130.38.

"While the slight increase in statewide (revenue per available room) offers a ray of hope, the continued decreases in statewide occupancies are disconcerting," said Ernie Watari, PKF Hawaii chairman and chief executive officer.

"With the faltering U.S. economy taking its toll on worldwide production and trade and the continued economic crisis in Japan, hoteliers are bracing for another tough second half of the year."

All of the individual islands showed occupancy decreases.

The Big Island was hardest hit with a decline of nearly 7 percentage points to an average of 74.9 percent last month from 81.7 percent in July 2000.

Kauai was down more than 4 percentage points at 80.5 percent from 85.1 percent.

At an 83.2 percent average, Maui was down about 2 percentage points from a year-earlier 85.2 percent.

Oahu was down a little more than 2 percentage points at 80.4 percent, from 85.1 percent. Molokai, while still at the low end of the occupancy table, had the smallest year-over-year decline to average 44.9 percent last month compared to 45 percent in July 2000.

Lanai is not reported because all three of its hotels are owned by one company, Castle & Cooke Inc., and reporting their figures would reveal proprietary corporate information.

The Big Island more than held the line in room rates, reporting an average of $180.85 last month, up 6.1 percent from $170.42 in the previous July. Oahu increased its average room rate slightly, to $127.86 from $126.16. Maui continued to show the highest islandwide room rate, $216.66, up 9.1 percent from a year-earlier $198.57.

Kauai's average room rate last month of $192.52 was up 8.2 percent from the July 2000 average of $177.90. Molokai had a room rate average of $89.51 last month, up 14.1 percent from $78.46 in July 2000.

PKF monitored 82 hotels and 57 resort condominiums last month, with a total of 37,674 rooms, or 53 percent of the available rooms in Hawaii.

The firm acknowledges that Outrigger Hotels & Resorts properties don't supply data and the absence of figures from that company's Ohana brand of some 15 budget-priced hotels in Waikiki could skew Waikiki figures.

But the absence of Outrigger has little effect on the statewide figures, PKF says.

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