APEC bump for hotels now confirmed

By Howard Dicus

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Oahu hotels charged 29 percent more during APEC week than they did during the same week last year, and still wound up 81 percent full, the first clear evidence that the summit bump was real.

Outrigger CEO David Carey and Starwood regional chief executive Keith Vieira both said this week that their hotels did very well during the APEC meetings; the new figures from Hospitality Advisors LLC show this was the broad trend.

The 81 percent occupancy level is actually not the highest level reached this fall – a few weeks ago Oahu hotels reached 85 percent – but it's a little better than year-ago levels, and it's full enough to have ensured profitability at normal room rates.

And the average room rate went over $200 a night, something rarely seen in the Oahu figures because of much lower rates in the hotels back from the beach.

Good as the report was for Oahu, neighbor island hotels in many cases also did well. Occupancy rose to 69 percent on Kauai, several points fuller than the previous week and 11 percentage points higher than year-ago levels. Maui hotels were 79 percent full, 13 points better than the previous week, while Big Island occupancy rose 17 points in one week, to 66 percent full.

Two explanations for the surge in neighbor island hotel room sales are displacement of vacationers who might otherwise have stayed in Waikiki but instead avoided APEC – and a wedding bump, since many engaged couples chose to wed on 11-11-11.

Neighbor island room rates were generally 3 percent higher than a year ago.

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