Hawaii hotels: December revenue, daily rate, and occupancy declined substantially

Last month Hawaii hotel room revenues statewide fell by 77.2 percent to $107.9 million, down from $472.6 million in December 2019

Hawaii hotels: December revenue, daily rate, and occupancy declined substantially

In December 2020, Hawaii hotels statewide reported substantial declines in revenue per available room (RevPAR), average daily rate (ADR), and occupancy compared to December 2019 as tourism continued to be impacted significantly by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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According to the Hawaii Hotel Performance Report published by the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s (HTA) Research Division, statewide RevPAR decreased to $69 (-75.6%), ADR fell to $291 (-17.6%), and occupancy declined to 23.8 percent (-56.4 percentage points) in December. The report’s findings utilized data compiled by STR, Inc., which conducts the largest and most comprehensive survey of hotel properties in the Hawaiian Islands.

Beginning October 15, passengers arriving from out-of-state and traveling inter-county could bypass the mandatory 14-day self-quarantine with a valid negative COVID-19 NAAT test result from a Trusted Testing and Travel Partner through the state’s Safe Travels program. Effective November 24, all trans-Pacific travelers participating in the pre-travel testing program were required to have a negative test result before their departure to Hawaii, and test results would no longer be accepted once a traveler arrived in the Hawaiian Islands. On December 2, Kauai County temporarily suspended its participation in the state’s Safe Travels program, making it mandatory for all travelers to Kauai to quarantine upon arrival. On December 10, the mandatory quarantine was reduced from 14 to 10 days in accordance with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines. The counties of Hawaii, Maui and Kalawao (Molokai) also had a partial quarantine in place in December.

Last month Hawaii hotel room revenues statewide fell by 77.2 percent to $107.9 million, down from $472.6 million in December 2019. Room demand was 72.3 percent lower than the same period a year ago. Room supply was only 6.6 percent lower year-over-year as properties continued to bring rooms back in service. Many properties that closed or reduced operations starting in April were reopened or partially reopened in December. If occupancy for December 2020 was calculated based on the room supply from December 2019, occupancy would be 22.2 percent for the month.

All classes of Hawaii hotel properties statewide continued to report RevPAR losses in December compared to a year ago. Luxury Class properties earned RevPAR of $168 (-71.1%), with ADR at $865 (+8.9%) and occupancy of 19.5 percent (-54.0 percentage points). Midscale & Economy Class properties earned RevPAR of $58 (-66.6%), with ADR at $196 (-6.9%) and occupancy of 29.6 percent (-52.8 percentage points).

All of Hawaii’s four island counties reported lower RevPAR and occupancy. Maui County hotels led the state in RevPAR, earning $130 (-68.5%), with ADR at $501 (-7.4%) and occupancy of 26.0 percent (-50.5 percentage points). The luxury resort area of Wailea earned $218 (-71.4%) in RevPAR, with ADR at $834 (-6.3%) and occupancy of 26.1 percent (-59.3 percentage points). 

Oahu hotels earned RevPAR of $43 (-81.8%) in December, with ADR at $184 (-36.0%) and occupancy of 23.6 percent (-59.5 percentage points). Waikiki hotels earned $40 (-82.7%) in RevPAR with ADR at $182 (-35.1%) and occupancy of 22.3 percent (-61.2 percentage points).

Hotels on the island of Hawaii reported RevPAR of $88 (-66.2%), with ADR at $329 (+0.1%) and occupancy of 26.8 percent (-52.7 percentage points). Kohala Coast hotels earned $146 in December RevPAR (-62.6%), with ADR at $542 (+10.2%) and occupancy of 26.8 percent (-52.2 percentage points).

Kauai hotels earned RevPAR of $24 (-90.3%) in December, with ADR at $178 (-47.9%) and occupancy of 13.4 percent (-58.7 percentage points).

Year-to-Date December 2020

Hawaii hotel performance in 2020 was dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Of note, 2019 was a banner year for Hawaii’s hotel industry and 2020 began with that continued momentum. However, year-to-date, Hawaii hotels earned $99 in RevPAR (-56.6%), which is less than half of the $229 RevPAR reported in 2019. ADR decreased to $267 (-5.5%) and occupancy declined to 37.1 percent (-43.7 percentage points).

Total statewide hotel revenues in 2020 were $1.4 billion (-69.0%) compared to $4.5 billion in 2019. Many properties closed or reduced their supply starting April 2020, and began reopening in the fall. This resulted in room supply for the year at 14.1 million room nights, down 28.5 percent from 2019. Room demand was 5.2 million room nights, down 67.2 percent year-over-year.

Comparison to Top U.S. Markets

In comparison to the top U.S. markets during 2020, the Hawaiian Islands earned the highest RevPAR at $99 followed by the Miami/Hialeah market at $87 (-41.4%) and San Francisco/San Mateo at $74 (-64.0%). Hawaii also led the U.S. markets in ADR at $267 followed by Miami/Hialeah ($188, -4.1%) and San Francisco/San Mateo ($177, -29.2%).

With the U.S. Mainland accessible for road trips and short-haul inter-continental flights, the Hawaiian Islands’ 2020 occupancy paled in comparison to STR’s top 25 markets; landing at the 21st spot (Figure 22). Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida topped the country in 2020 occupancy at 50.8 percent (-21.3 percentage points), followed by Phoenix, Arizona (49.8%, -20.7 percentage points) and Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Virginia (49.1%, -14.4 percentage points).

Comparison to International Markets

When compared to international “sun and sea” destinations, Hawaii’s counties were in the upper half of the group for RevPAR year-to-date. Hotels in the Maldives ranked highest in RevPAR at $250 (-30.3%) followed by French Polynesia ($245, -37.6%) and Maui County ($140, -54.9%). The island of Hawaii, Kauai, and Oahu ranked sixth, seventh, and eighth, respectively.

The Maldives led in ADR at $782 (+42.8%) in 2020, followed by French Polynesia ($579, +2.3%) and Maui County ($414, +3.3%). Kauai, the island of Hawaii, and Oahu ranked sixth, seventh, and eighth, respectively. French Polynesia led in 2020 occupancy for sun and sea destinations (42.3%, -27.0 percentage points), followed by Oahu (39.0%, -45.1 percentage points) and the Puerto Vallarta region (38.7%, -28.4 percentage points). The island of Hawaii, Maui County, and Kauai ranked fourth, sixth, and ninth, respectively.

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