|By Alan Yonan Jr., The Honolulu
Star-AdvertiserMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Nov. 08, 2011--Hawaii's hotel industry saw both occupancy and room rates rise in September from the same month a year earlier.
Hawaii's hotels were 74.5 percent full in September, up from 70.6 percent in September 2010, according to a report released by industry consultant Hospitality Advisors. The statewide average daily room rate rose to $172.20 from $160.50 a year earlier.
The rise in rates boosted revenue per available room, a key industry measure of profitability, to $128.60 in September from $113.31 a year earlier.
The improvement in the hotel numbers was consistent with an earlier report showing visitor arrivals and spending rose by 4 percent and 20 percent, respectively, in September.
Through the first nine months of the year, the state's hotel industry generated $2.14 billion in revenue, up 13 percent from the same period in 2010, and 21 percent higher than the cyclical low of $1.77 billion during the first nine months of 2009.
The gains, led by sharp increases on Oahu, are significant given the grim outlook for tourism that was delivered following the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March, said Joseph Toy, president and CEO of Hospitality Advisors.
"Waikiki and Oahu in particular have done very, very well," Toy said. "The losses could have potentially been much worse given the tsunami. But the strength of other markets like Australia, Canada and other Asian countries really helped fill the gap," he said.
The year-to-date revenue numbers, while impressive, still trail the pre-recession peak of $2.41 billion recorded through the first nine months of 2006, he said.
Oahu maintained its distinction of having the state's highest occupancy, rising to 84.1 percent in September from 81.5 percent a year earlier. Kauai posted the biggest increase, with occupancy jumping to 71 percent from 58.6 percent in September 2010. Maui's occupancy rate rose to 65.9 percent from 63.8 percent, while the rate on Hawaii island increased to 58.3 percent from 51.9 percent.
Maui topped all islands with an average daily room rate of $206.24, followed by Kauai at $194.20, Hawaii island at $161.60 and Oahu at $159.21.
Toy said the outlook for the hotel industry for the remainder of 2011 was positive, helped by the flood of visitors traveling to Oahu for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting this week.
Although the event is centered on Oahu, there has been some spillover to the neighbor islands, particularly the Kona Coast of Hawaii County where hotels are reporting a jump in guests, he said.
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