By Andrew Gomes
Advertiser Staff Writer
Hawaiis hotel industry took in nearly $2.7 billion in room revenues statewide, topping the previous high of $2.4 billion set in 1997 and repeated in 1999, according to an industry report released yesterday.
Fueled by a record number of visitors, hotel revenue increased 11.8 percent over the 1997 and 1999 figures, according to the survey compiled by Smith Travel Research in conjunction with Honolulu-based Hospitality Advisors LLC and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
"We actually broke the record in November," said Joseph Toy, Hospitality Advisors president. "A surge in December visitor arrivals further extended the record."
Toy said a significant increase in higher-spending visitors staying at luxury hotels helped send revenues to the new high.
According to the report, luxury hotels led the market last year with average occupancy of 79.1 percent and an average daily room rate of $224.06. That was an increase of 6.7 percentage points in occupancy and a 4.6 percent rise in room rates. In 1999, an average of 72.4 percent rooms were filled and rates averaged $213.84.
Toy said that the luxury market was driven by strong increases in group business such as meetings, conventions and incentive travel; independent domestic travelers; and visitors from the Eastern region of the United States.
Overall, hotel room occupancy averaged 76.0 percent last year, compared to 72.1 percent in 1999, an increase of 3.9 percentage points. The average room rate was $139.42 last year, compared to $131.66 in 1999, a difference of 5.9 percent.
The survey released yesterday, which covers 67 percent of the states lodging properties with 20 or more rooms, is one of two major industry surveys. The other, released last week by consulting firm PKF Hawaii, showed that Hawaii hotels set 10-year highs for average occupancy, at 77.9 percent, and average daily room rates, at $151.79. The PKF study surveys 57 percent of the states available hotel rooms.
For December, the survey released yesterday said, average occupancy jumped 6.9 percentage points, from 60.8 percent in 1999 to 67.7 percent last year, and closely followed the 7.6 percent increase in visitor arrivals. Average room rates were essentially flat at $151.92 last month, compared to $152.03 in December 1999.
By island for the year, occupancy and room rates were higher all around. On Oahu, average occupancy rose from 71.7 percent in 1999 to 75.8 percent last year as the average daily rate rose from $107.93 to $112.17.
On Maui, average occupancy rose from 77.2 percent to 80.7 percent as average rates rose from $161.05 to $172.97.
On Hawaii, average occupancy rose from 65.7 percent to 71.0 percent as rates rose from $162.44 to $173.63.
On Kauai, average occupancy rose from 70.4 percent to 73.5 percent as rates rose from $144.27 to $154.59.
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