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Report: Hawaii hotels see occupancy drop last month

September 28, 2018

HONOLULU (AP) — Hotel occupancy dipped last month across Hawaii, but room revenues increased slightly, according to a state tourism report.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority report on hotel performance shows occupancy was just above 78 percent, falling by nearly 3 percentage points last month, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Thursday.

The average daily room rate across the state increased by more than 4 percent to $282, according to the report. The revenue per available room increased by nearly 1 percent to $220. Revenue per available room is the money a hotel makes on every room regardless if it’s occupied.

“August is typically a strong month for the hotel industry, but news coverage about Hurricane Lane heading straight at Hawaii, and travelers being able to utilize airline cancellation fee waivers likely impacted results in the latter half of the month,” said Jennifer Chun, the authority’s tourism research director.

Hawaii hotels have reported strong revenue numbers since the year’s start, but those figures were largely built on the first five months of the year — before the effects of the Kilauea volcano eruption, Chun said.

“All things considered, it was a good summer overall for the hotel industry on a statewide level and especially for hotel properties in Maui County and Kauai, as well as Oahu,” Chun said. “Hotels on the island of Hawaii suffered a downturn throughout summer because of the dampening effect that Kilauea’s eruption had on travel bookings.”

The tourism industry is going strong in the state, and August’s losses should rebound this month, said Mark Bratton, senior vice president of Colliers International.

“After an event like Hurricane Lane, prices come down and hoteliers claim back some of the market,” Bratton said. “People who canceled at $500 a night will see it’s $275 now and re-book.”

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com

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