Hawaii tourism

Hawaii tourism struggles as other destinations thrive

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The trend of the coronavirus in the country has a big influence on a person’s decision to travel and the destinations they decide to visit. Restrictions in Hawaii continue to impact travellers.

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Vikram Singh is a hotel analyst in Hawaii who works with hotel properties on marketing materials and setting the rate per room. He said demand for hotels in Waikiki increased over Thanksgiving, but expects occupancy to decline in December.

He said the last weeks of the year are usually the most lucrative for hotels, which is when rates could easily double due to high demand, but not this year.

“The second wave, people are just a little more careful in the winter,” Singh said. “And then that directly led to the rates that you see, you no longer see the options at some of the larger resorts, you no longer see the $900 to $1,200 per night options.”

Singh said there was too much inventory to drive up room prices like in previous years.

According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, hotel room revenue across the state fell 88% in October and occupancy fell to 19.7% from the same period. last year.

Although other destinations with fewer COVID restrictions are seeing some of their best numbers.

“The properties I work at in Mexico are seeing the numbers for a year of coronavirus better than last year, I’m amazed,” Singh said. “They outperform their 2019 statements in a year of global travel collapse.”

The pandemic has also changed the power dynamic between hotels and guests. Most airlines and hotels are flexible with last minute cancellations.

“We used to make a lot of money back in the day on non-cancellable rates, on non-refundable rates where we had a really good deal, but you couldn’t get your money back, you had to show up or lose the money,” Singh said. “But that whole segment is gone now.”

Singh said tourism in Hawaii could benefit from the COVID vaccine being developed, but any increase in visitors associated with vaccinations would not be reflected until next year.