Hawaii Hotels Recovering Slowly But SurelyFeb 19th, 2011 | By Roy Rasmussen | Category: Travel
81 percent of Hawaii hotel rooms were occupied during the week ending February 12, and most average room rates were higher than during the same week last year, according to a weekly report by Smith Travel Research and Hospitality Advisors. This is another hopeful sign that the Hawaii tourism industry, which has been struggling since 2008, is on the road to recovery.
Hawaii tourism reached a peak level of 7.6 million visitors in 2006, generating $3.12 billion in hotel room revenue. 2007 held steady at $3.13 billion in revenue. But in spring 2008 first Aloha Airlines and then ATA Airlines went out of business. Hotel revenue dropped to $2.92 billion that year, and plunged to $2.42 billion in 2009.
That trend began to reverse last year, with Hawaii hotels taking in $2.55 billion in 2010. Oahu spearheaded the recovery by offering heavily discounted room rates in Waikiki, resulting in 80 percent average occupancy. That occupancy rate seems to be spreading, a promising sign for the Hawaiian hotel economy.
Experts from Hawaii’s Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT) predict that increased visitor spending and construction jobs will boost Hawaii’s economic recovery over the next two years, leading to a resumption of 2007 employment levels by 2013 and economic expansion by 2014. “We are encouraged by the continued improvement in our economy, especially with respect to our construction industry,” said DBEDT Director Richard Lim Friday.