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Hawaii vacation rentals held onto demand better than hotels in February

Short-term vacation rentals put more heads on beds at available units in February and held onto rates better than their hotel counterparts.

February occupancy for short-term vacation rentals across Hawaii hit 49.8%, a decline of 34.3 percentage points from the same month last year, the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) reported Wednesday.

The average daily rate (ADR) for vacation rental units statewide in February only declined by 1.3% to $242, according to HTA’s Hawaii Vacation Rental Performance Report, which was produced using data compiled by Transparent Intelligence Inc.

The report noted that total monthly supply of statewide vacation rentals in February fell 26.6% to 534,932 unit nights, while monthly demand decreased 56.5% to 266,562 unit nights.

Hawaii hotels, which weren’t subject to as many government issued COVID restrictions, only saw room supply fall 7.3% to 1.4 million nights. Still, the February drop in room demand was steeper for Hawaii hotels, which fell 66.5% to 429,700 nights.

HTA reported that Hawaii hotels statewide in February had an average occupancy rate of 30.5%, a 54 percentage point drop from February 2020. The rate at Hawaii hotels in February fell 16.5% to $259.

HTA noted the comparisons between hotels and vacation rentals but pointed out that they aren’t equivalent because vacation rental units, unlike hotels, “are not necessarily available year-round or each day of the month and often accommodate a larger number of guests than traditional hotel rooms.”

Still, it was the same story — vacation rentals outperforming hotels — across the isles.

The island of Hawaii had the best vacation rental occupancy in the state at 59.6%, which was 24 percentage points below February of 2020. The ADR at Hawaii island vacation rentals actually climbed 19.9% to $215. Hawaii island vacation rental supply fell 33.8% to 115,752 available unit nights and demand declined 52.8% to 69,041 unit nights. Hawaii Island hotels reported ADR at $276 and occupancy of 35.3%.

Maui’s vacation rental occupancy was 52.5%, down 35.1 percentage points from February 2020. ADR declined 11% to $281. Maui’s vacation rental supply dropped 7.7% to 213,158 available unit nights, the most of any county. Demand fell 44.7% to 111,984 nights. Maui County hotels reported ADR at $446 and occupancy of 31.7%.

Occupancy at Oahu vacation rentals fell 25.2 percentage points to 55.9%, while ADR increased 2.2% to $192. Oahu’s vacation rental supply fell 42.4% to 123,064 available unit nights and demand dropped 60.3% to 68,738 unit nights. Oahu hotels reported ADR at $169 and occupancy of 29.3 percent.

Kauai, which has had tougher travel restrictions than the other counties, had an occupancy of 20.3%, a 62.9% drop from February 2020. However, ADR on Kauai was flat at $308. Kauai’s supply fell 23.8% to 82,958. Unit demand on Kauai dropped 81.4% to 16,799 nights. Kauai hotels reported ADR at $181 and occupancy of 26.4%.

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