Occupancy slumps

Maui marks the only gain,
rising 3.8% to 78.9%, the
highest rate of any island

Hawaii hotels and resort condominiums had a dull month in June, with occupancy and room revenue showing year-over-year declines on most islands, according to the latest monthly survey by PKF-Hawaii LLP.


Statewide occupancy slipped 3 percent to 73.1 percent last month from 75.4 percent in the same month last year, on average. Only Maui had an occupancy increase, up 3.8 percent to 78.9 percent occupancy, the highest rate in the state. Maui and Molokai were the only islands to see growth in visitor arrivals in June.

All things considered, Hawaii hotel occupancy in the first half the year wasn't all bad. Despite the war with Iraq, SARS and economic problems, statewide occupancy in the first six months of 2003 was slightly better than in 2002, though not as good as 2001 or the banner year of 2000.

Referring to 2003, PKF said, "the hotel industry showed resilience with occupancy increases in three out of the six months and increase in average daily room rates for all six months."

Hawaii hotels had better occupancy in the first half of this year than the rest of the nation's 25 top hotel markets, according to a separate study by Hospitality Advisors LLC and Smith Travel Research.

In June, visitor arrivals and hotel occupancy were hurt by lingering trouble in the Japanese tourism sector.

Oahu occupancy fell 5.7 percent to 73.2 percent in June from last year. Oahu revenue per available room, an important financial indicator, dropped 4.7 percent to $73.10 from $76.67. Oahu visitor arrivals, punished by a 31.7 percent year-over-year drop in Japanese arrivals, fell 13.3 percent in June from last year, and decreased 16 percent from June 2001.

On the Big Island, occupancy decreased 7.6 percent to 64.5 percent from 69.7 percent last year, while room revenues dropped 9.6 percent to $106.64.

Kauai's occupancy was flat at 75 percent, and so was room revenue at $109.78.

Maui's room revenues increased with the rise in occupancy, up 7.6 percent in June to $163.15 from $151.62. Valley Isle visitor arrivals have been up 6.9 percent from last year, driven by growth in travelers from the U.S. mainland.

According to Hospitality Advisors, Hawaii had 71 percent average occupancy through the first six months of the year, up from 69.7 percent in 2002. Hawaii beat New York's 70.3 percent and San Diego's 68.1 percent. New York had a higher average room rate, $159.53 compared to Hawaii's $144.70, but Hawaii rates were well ahead of the rest of the nation.

Hospitality Advisors said Hawaii hotels had six-month room revenues of $1.24 billion, up 3.1 percent from the first half of 2002 but still 10.7 percent below 2002 levels.


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