State hotel occupancy rates drop to 23.8% in December

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald The pool is empty during a drizzle outside the Grand Naniloa Hotel Hilo on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021.

Unsurprisingly, Hawaii hotel occupancy rates in 2020 were only a fraction of those in 2019, although they have gradually increased in recent months.

According to Hawaii Tourism Authority data, statewide hotel occupancy rates dropped to 23.8% in December thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, a decline of 56 percentage points from December 2019.

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Hotel revenues per available room and the average daily hotel rates, respectively, dropped by 75% and 17% from the previous year as well.

Hotel room revenue in December only reached $107.9 million, compared to the $472 million from December 2019. Room demand also decreased by 72% statewide.

The decline in occupancy rates and revenue has been generally even across all counties, with the Big Island’s 52% decrease in occupancy this year on par with the rest of state.

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However, hotel occupancy appeared to be gradually trending upward again by the end of the year, with December’s rates, dismal though they may have been, still slightly higher than those in November.

Revenue is similarly on an upswing, both statewide and county-by-county, although it is still drastically lower than those of a year ago.

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