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Oahu’s drop in June hotel rates 4th biggest in nation

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Oahu ranks fourth in cities in North America where hotel rates are recovering the slowest, according to June figures. Above is the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki.
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Oahu posted the fourth-largest percentage drop in June in room rates among the nation’s hotels; the 3 percent decline from last year came amid discounting by the hotels.

Unfortunately for local hotels, Oahu is near the top of the nation in terms of room rate discounts, according to an online survey.

The island had the fourth-biggest percentage drop – 3 percent – for June hotel room rates compared with last year, based on Hotwire.com’s monthly hotel rate report. Hotwire.com is a travel discount website.

This isn’t the first time the island has hit the list. Oahu had the second-biggest drop in April at 10 percent.

Madison, Wis., topped the June list, with a 6 percent drop since last June. Sacramento, Calif., followed with 4 percent.

Hawaii’s visitor arrivals are starting to swing upward this year, but industry watchers say they don’t expect room rates to start increasing until next year or 2012. It’s only then that industrywide recovery can begin.

"Historically we’ve seen the rates go down a lot quicker than they go up," said Murray Towill, president of the Hawaii Hotel & Lodging Association. "It’s all about the volume of business."

Average daily room rates statewide declined by 2.1 percent in April to $175.84, according to the most recent report from Hospitality Advisors LLC.

"We’re probably recovering on the occupancy side more quickly than our competitors," Towill said. "But the bottom line is that the driving force is the strength and health of the economy. You won’t see rates go up until there is greater public confidence in the economy."

Hotwire.com said prices are recovering in select cities.

"For some markets, we’re not going to see hotel prices as low as we saw last summer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still find a great deal," said Clem Bason, Hotwire Group’s president, in a news release.


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