HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii hotels have performed better in the economic slump than key rival destinations, despite cutting room rates less.
For 2009, Hawaii hotel occupancy fell four percentage points from year-before levels, at a time when occupancy fell 4.3 points in Florida and 4.5 points in Las Vegas.
For international visitors, occupancy fell 4.1 points in Shanghai and 8.8 points in Thailand, though another rival destination for Japanese visitors, Seoul, saw occupancy rise three points.
Average hotel room rates, which were down 12.5% in Hawaii last year, fell 10.6% in Florida, but fell 13.5% in the Caribbean, 18.7% in Mexico, and 22% in Las Vegas.
For the state's international visitors, three quarters of whom are from Japan, room rates were down 12.6% in Thailand, 13.9% in Sydney, and 22.6% in Shanghai.
"And now things are getting better," said Hawaii Tourism Authority CEO Mike McCartney. "The 5% jump in spring air capacity will help a lot."
Alaska Airlines has been shifting its capacity to Hawaii to the point where about one in six of its flights are to or from Hawaii.
Larger mainland airlines have also added some flights to the islands. More than 2 million seats will fly to Hawaii over April, May and June.
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