HONOLULU -- The lodging industry on Hawaii's islands of Kauai,
Maui, and the Big Island will recover from the downturn caused by
Sept. 11 terrorist attacks faster than the island of Oahu,
according to a study by Ernst & Young.
One part of the formula for Hawaii's recovery is based on where
the visitors come from. Since the Japanese are more reluctant to
return to Hawaii than Americans, those islands that have a higher
percentage of Japanese visitors will take a longer time to recover,
according to the study.
Oahu, which gets about 47% of its visitors from international
destinations, mostly Japanese, will take the longest to
Maui, which gets only 19% of its visitors from international
markets will recover more quickly. Kauai and the Big Island both
have an international mix at about 22%.
According to the state Department of Business Economic
Development and Tourism, the number of American tourists to Hawaii
was down 16% for the week of Oct. 4 to 11 compared to the same
month last year.
The number of international visitors to Hawaii was off 23% for
the same week.
"Hawaii will have a "U" shaped recovery where it will go down
and hover at the bottom and then go up," according to Jeffrey
Dallas, practice leader for Ernst & Young. "There are variables
of uncertainty that affect the length of the recovery.
The more uncertainty, the longer the recovery. You're not
looking at a three-month recovery and you're not looking at a
Other predictions of the study concluded that:
• Incentive, groups and convention business will be the "most
significantly impacted" and "recovery should be sluggish."
• Large, chain affiliated properties, predominately located on
Oahu "will struggle to maintain occupancies in the near term" and
their long term recovery is "directly correlated with the U.S. and
And overall, "Hawaii's recovery currently lags most major U.S.
markets' recovery," and "it is anticipated that the overall Hawaii
lodging market will lag in recovery time vs. other major U.S.
"The other U.S. markets are less dependent on another country's
economy and they have the advantage of having a drive-in market,"