Occupancy in 2002
managed ‘rebound’

December's numbers are
up 13% from last year

Star-Bulletin staff

Hawaii hotel occupancy in December was up almost 13 percent from the low level of December 2001, according to a new report from the consultant firm PKF-Hawaii.

For the year as a whole, the hotel industry in the islands showed "a remarkable rebound" from the near-halt after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the mainland, said Ernest Watari, PKF-Hawaii chief executive officer.

All islands showed higher occupancy levels and December room revenues also recovered, but Watari said Hawaii still has to work to keep the numbers going. "With global terrorist activities and the ongoing threat of war against Iraq, Hawaii needs to maintain its image as a safe vacation resort destination and continue to draw not only domestic visitors but international visitors as well," Watari said.

The statewide occupancy level averaged 68.96 percent last month, compared to 61.04 percent in December 2001. The average daily room rate, $154.29 a day, was up 1.2 percent from the average rate of $152.51 in the previous December.

The Waikiki properties away from the beach without restaurants, where room rates are usually lower than at the beachfront, had the highest occupancy in the state, 79.22 percent last month. Total Waikiki occupancy for December was 77.36 percent, up from 64.91 percent in December 2001. Oahu occupancy of 77.28 percent last month was up from 64.69 percent a year earlier.

The Big Island had December occupancy of 62.07 percent, up from a year-earlier 58.61 percent and its Kohala Coast resorts continued to have the highest room rates in the state, averaging $279.05 last month compared to $276.20 in the previous December.

Maui had a December occupancy of 63.74 percent, up from a year-earlier 59.24 percent. Kauai's occupancy was up, but only slightly, at 51.42 percent from 51.2 percent. Molokai's occupancy rose to 50.39 percent from 43.77 percent.

For all of 2002, statewide occupancy averaged 72.23 percent, up from 71.45 percent through 2001, but the full-year average room rate of $145.71 was down from $151.91. The average was down because of poor performance in the first few months of 2002 while Hawaii was still hard hit by the Sept. 11 attacks, PKF-Hawaii said.


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