The wrap-up report on June hotel performance, with running totals for the entire first half of the year, attests to significant improvement in Hawaii's lodging industry, especially since it does not include the even stronger performance of July and August.
Statewide occupancy for Jan. 1-June 30 was 69%, up 4.8% from 2009, more than offsetting 5.2% lower average room rates to produce a 3.1% increase in revenue.
"The luxury and upscale markets on Oahu and Maui led the year's occupancy recovery, but at reduced rates," said Joe Toy, CEO of Hospitality Advisors, the firm that issues weekly hotel occupancy tallies. "Guests traded up in category."
The report covers hotels only, not timeshares, but other information has shown a similar if not better situation on that side of the lodging industry.
"Our timeshares have been running more than 96% full," said Chris Tatum, the regional vice president for Marriott, in a recent apperance on Hawaii News Now Sunrise. "On the whole, things are really good this summer."
Hotel revpar did not rise on Kauai or the Big Island during the first half of the year, but is thought to have done so since then.
The overall performance for the first six months actually featured strong performance in May and stronger revenues in June, making up for comparatively slack business over the past winter, before much of Hawaii's new airline capacity was put in place.
June saw statewide occupancy of 71.4%, up 9.6 points from last year at the same time, consistent with the state's report of 9% more visitor days in June. Average room rates were down from June 2009 by only 1.5%, so the large increase in occupancy far offset that to produce a 13.9% improvement in revpar.
Both Kauai and the Big Island, as well as Oahu and Maui, did see a net gain in revpar in June. The report specifically notes revpar improvement both on the Big Island's Kohala Coast and throughout the rest of Hawaii County.
"The upper end of the market is seeing a lot of trading up in travel given the attractive pricing. However, the pace of the recovery remains slow and uneven," said Joe Toy. "We are still far below our market peaks of three years ago."
The improvement in hotel revenues occurs as many of the largest hotels in Waikiki negotiate new labor contracts with Local 5 of the union UNITE-HERE. Most of the unionized hotels on neighbor islands are represented by the ILWU.