The Good News and Bad News of Hawaii Hotel Rates

Waikiki Beach

As you might imagine, I regularly check Hawaii hotel rate and occupancy trends. What’s the current trend? For a quick summation, let’s look at recent headlines from Pacific Business News:

  • Hawaii hotel room rates rise 7%
  • Hawaii hotel occupancy nudges upward, room rates gain
  • Hawaii hotels’ gross profits total $928.2M
  • Hawaii hotel room revenue in 2011 was highest since 2007

I’m very happy to see my beloved Hawaii recovering from the tourism economy slump. I’m excited that more wonderful Hawaii residents will have jobs. This is great news for all who know and love Hawaii.

The bad news is that the cost of a Hawaii vacation is definitely on the rise – to the average tune of around 7% compared to last year. I see deals now for $199 that I remember were advertised at $159 just a year or two ago. I’m having to adjust my mindset on what is and what isn’t a Hawaii hotel deal.

Please allow me to digress to my former career as a nerdy engineer as we look deeper at these trends and extrapolate some assumptions.

Even though rates are on an upward trend, Hawaii hotel profits are significantly less than 2006 results per this Pacific Business News graph. You can bet that tourism businesses are working hard to raise profits to 2006 levels and then above that.

As Hawaii hotel occupancy increases, rates will also increase. What does this trend mean to your wallet? Well, my advice is to plan your Hawaii vacation sooner rather than later. If rates continue to climb, and it looks like they probably will, you might as well book your vacation at the lower end of the incline. Make sense?

Another point worth highlighting is that many Hawaii hotels have renovated their rooms, restaurants, lobbies, and pools. They’re more luxurious than ever. I mention this point because even though you might be paying a higher hotel rate than you did two or three years ago, you’re more likely to experience a much nicer room.

For money saving strategies, check out my article, Save Money on Hawaii Vacation Accommodations.

Have you noticed higher Hawaii hotel rates? Will it change your vacation plans?


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About Sheila Beal

Sheila Beal is the founder and editor of Go Visit Hawaii. You can connect with Sheila Beal on Twitter, Go Visit Hawaii on Facebook, or Sheila Beal on Google+.

3 comments

  1. What about air fare trends – family of 5 leaving for Maui 7/11/12 – 7/25/12 from NJ – rates have been hovering around $1100 – $1200 – buy now or do they drop closer to summer?

    • I’d say that airfare trends will likely match hotels.

      It’s up to you, if you want to gamble on them coming down.

    • Christi – Here’s some food for thought on airfare:

      - Most airfare gurus say that the best fares are offered about 4 months before your trip. You’re getting close to that window.
      - With fuel prices being on the rise, I would think fares are more likely to go up rather than down.
      - Hawaii is a popular destination in summer vacation months. So, there tends to be more demand, making fares more expensive.

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