Insight logoAccording to a Hospitality Advisors and Smith Travel Research survey released Oct. 5, the Hawaii hotel industry's estimated total revenue during June, July and August plunged more than 20%, or $238 million, when compared with the same period in 2008.

"The loss in total hotel revenue, including room, food and beverage and retail sales during Hawaii's traditional busy summer season, has been staggering," said Joseph Toy, president and CEO of Hospitality Advisors LLC, in a statement released with the survey. "The 2009 occupancy rate of 68.1% for June through August 2009 was actually lower than the off-season occupancy rates Hawaii enjoyed just three years ago."

The hotel industry's summer 2009 revenue totals were down $364 million from those collected during the record-breaking summer of 2006.

According to the Oct. 5 statement, the August decline "capped off the weakest summer busy season that Hawaii has experienced since the survey began in 1987."

Falling now for 18 months straight, hotel occupancy across Hawaii dropped 3.5%, to a 70.9% statewide average in August. Room rates sank nearly 16% during the month, to $177 a night. That figure led to a 19.9% dive in revenue per available room, dropping the Hawaii average for a night in August to $126.

"Although room sales and occupancy declined during the summer, the steep room discounts has had a far greater impact on the loss in revenue for Hawaii's hotel industry this past June through August 2009," Toy added.

It should be noted, however, that while Hawaii room rates have continued their decline in recent weeks when compared with last year's figures, statewide occupancy figures have either remained essentially unchanged or have actually increased year over year.

According to the Hospitality Advisors and Smith Travel Research survey for the week ending Sept. 12, Hawaii hotel occupancy was 66.7%, slipping less than 1% from the same period in 2008. The following week that rate stood at 70.9%, edging upward 1.3% year over year, and for the week ending Sept. 26, Hawaii hotel occupancy inched down just .3% from 2008's figures to a statewide average of 68.8%

Thanks in large part to the 24,000 attendees of the American Dental Association's 150th annual meeting, held recently at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu, Hawaii's statewide occupancy average jumped 6.6% from last year to a statewide average of 68% for the week ending Oct. 3.

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