Hawaii’s hotels report average room occupancy grew by 5.5 percentage points in August to reach 84.3%.
According to the Hawai‘i Hotel Performance Report published by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA), statewide RevPar increased in August to $244.27 (+ 10.7%), with ADR increasing to $289.75 (+3.4%) and occupancy growing by 5.5 percentage points.
Through the first eight months of 2019 Hawaii’s hotels reported an average room occupancy of 81.7%, down 0.4 percentage points from 82.1% in 2018, with an ADR of $284.74, up 1.8% from 2018, and a RevPar of $232.57 up 1.2% compared with the same eight months of 2018.
HTA’s Tourism Research Division issued the report’s findings utilizing data compiled by STR, Inc., which conducts the largest and most comprehensive survey of hotel properties in the Hawaiian Islands.
In August, Hawai‘i hotel room revenues statewide grew by 8.6 percent to $408.7 million, which is $32.5 million higher than last year. Room demand was up 5.0 percent to 1.4 million room nights, with supply down 1.8 percent compared to a year ago. Several hotel properties across the state were closed for renovation or had rooms out of service for renovation during August.
Tables of hotel performance statistics, including data presented in the report are available for viewing online at: https://www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/research/infrastructure-research/
All classes of Hawai‘i hotel properties statewide reported RevPAR gains in August. Luxury Class properties reported a strong increase in RevPAR to $469 (+13.0%), driven by an increase in occupancy to 81.9 percent (+8.9 percentage points) and ADR similar to a year ago. Midscale & Economy Class hotels reported RevPAR of $146 (+8.8%), with ADR of $176 (+2.6%) and occupancy of 82.5 percent (+4.7 percentage points).
Among Hawai‘i’s four island counties, Maui County hotels led the state in RevPAR at $306 (+12.7%), with ADR of $389 (+3.5%) and occupancy of 78.6 percent (+6.5 percentage points) in August. Maui County was led by the strong performance of properties in Wailea, which earned RevPAR of $542 (+9.3%), ADR of $608 (+4.4%) and occupancy of 89.2 percent (+4.0 percentage points).
O‘ahu hotels reported RevPAR growth to $227 (+6.5%) in August, with increases in ADR to $255 (+1.5%) and occupancy of 88.8 percent (+4.2 percentage points). Waikīkī hotels saw RevPAR, ADR and occupancy increases in August.
Hotels on the island of Hawai‘i saw significant increases in RevPAR to $227 (+35.6%), ADR of $281 (+15.8%) and occupancy at 80.9 percent (+11.8 percentage points) in August compared to the same time last year. Kohala Coast hotels earned a 54.5 percent increase in RevPAR to $342, with ADR of $406 (+16.1%) and occupancy of 84.3 percent (+21.0 percentage points). In May 2018, Kīlauea volcano started erupting in lower Puna, which contributed to a downturn in visitors to the island of Hawai‘i in the following months.
Kaua‘i hotels reported flat RevPAR of $213 (+0.2%) in August, with higher occupancy (74.4%, +1.9 percentage points) offsetting a decrease in ADR to $286 (-2.3%).
About the Hawai‘i Hotel Performance Report
The Hawai‘i Hotel Performance Report is produced using hotel survey data compiled by STR, Inc., the largest survey of its kind in Hawai‘i. The survey generally excludes properties with under 20 lodging units, such as small bed and breakfasts, youth hostels, single-family vacation rentals, cottages, individually rented vacation condominiums and sold timeshare units no longer available for hotel use.
The data has been weighted both geographically and by class of property to compensate for any over and/or under representation of hotel survey participants by location and type.
For August 2019, the survey included 162 properties representing 48,292 rooms, or 89.5 percent of all lodging properties with 20 rooms or more in the Hawaiian Islands, including full service, limited service, and condominium hotels.
Properties report rooms as officially out of service to STR if they are unavailable for rent for 30 days or more. However, it should be noted that rooms out of service for renovation for less than 30 days are still included in the supply numbers.
Scientists used millions of travelers' Flickr photos to quickly calculate global tourism. Is analyzing online data the next step in measuring our society?
Our summer vacation photos are a record of happy memories made with friends and families, proof of where we’ve been and what we’ve done during our precious time off. Thanks to team of scientists at the Data Science Lab at Warwick Business School and The Alan Turing Institute, these photos might prove to be more than just happy memories, but also serve as rapid, low-cost insights into how people travel around the globe.
New research from Professor Tobias Preis, Dr. Federico Botta, and Professor Suzy Moat analyzed data from 69 million publicly shared photos uploaded to the platform Flickr to estimate global tourism statistics for the G7 countries: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US.
This map depicts the locations in which 35 million photographs were taken and uploaded to the photo-sharing platform Flickr in 2014.
While countries often rely on potentially time-consuming surveys at airports and accommodation to determine where their visitors are from, the new findings show that rapidly available, low-cost data from photos uploaded to the internet might be able to provide similar measurements.
Tobias Preis, Professor of Behavioral Science and Finance and co-director of the Data Science Lab at Warwick Business School
“We analyzed data on where and when 69 million Flickr photos had been taken over a period of two years,” explained Preis. “To work out where visitors to the UK were from, we identified photos that had been taken in the UK, and then looked at where the photographer had taken photos over the past 12 months.
“We had to make a big simplifying assumption about where people were between photos: namely, that they’d stayed in the same country since the last photo,” he continued. “However, even with this big simplification, we found that estimates of the number of travelers from different countries generated from the online photo data were correlated with the official tourism statistics. The same holds for the other G7 countries.”
The G7 countries currently use various methods to calculate tourist numbers, including collecting data at airports, hotels, and other tourist accommodations. However, common to all these methods is a publication delay, which ranges from months to years.
Suzy Moat, Professor of Behavioral Science and co-director of the Data Science Lab at Warwick Business School
Instead, using the almost instant availability of online data might provide far quicker estimates of tourist flows between countries. By analyzing 69.2 million photos uploaded to Flickr in 2013 and 2014 the researchers were able to infer the travel patterns of nearly half a million people.
When compared to official data released by the G7 the researchers found a strong correlation between the photo-based estimates and the official estimates. They caution, however, that considerable further work will be needed before such insights can be used in the production of official statistics.
“Policymakers need quick, accurate information to make good decisions, especially in times of great change,” said Moat. “Traditional approaches to measuring the state of our society can be time-consuming as well as expensive, and so the possibility of generating rapid, low-cost indicators from online data is very exciting.
Federico Botta, Research Fellow in the Data Science Lab at Warwick Business School
“However, a robust framework would be needed to utilize these insights in practice, to deal with challenges such as bias in the online data, whether access to the online data could be relied upon, and how to calculate and communicate how certain we can be about the estimates we make.”
David Jessop – Caribbean Council.
Cruise tourism has become a big business, with the Caribbean now accounting for more than 35 per cent of all such vacations globally.
This year more ships will sail in or through Caribbean waters than in any other part of the world, with many of the one hundred plus new vessels under construction destined to do the same.
Despite this, no government or industry body has yet been able to focus with any success on how little the cruise lines contribute to Caribbean development, government revenues, or the local economy. Nor have they found ways that equitably relate cruise tourism to the now regional economic importance of the hotel sector, the ancillary onshore demand that long-stay visitors create, or the higher taxes they pay.
Statistics produced by the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, CTO, show that there were 29.2 million cruise ship visitor arrivals into the Caribbean in 2018, a figure roughly equal to the 30.2 million long stay visitors who came by air to stay in hotels and other onshore facilities.
However, these figures are misleading. Cruise ship passengers almost all stayed for only a small part of a day and visited multiple countries, raising questions about double counting. In contrast, visitors who arrived by air stayed on average for seven nights in a single location, contributing, according to CTO, 11.5 times more than cruise passengers to the local economy and to government revenues.
Unfortunately, there seems to be little in the way of consistent or reliable recent reporting as to exactly how much either category of visitor left behind of what they spent.
Figures produced by the cruise industry, governments and tourist boards provide some indication of gross spending, but, for not well explained reasons, vary significantly from country to country and are not up to date.
Reports relating to 2015 indicate that cruise visitors to the United States Virgin Islands spent between US$138 and US$158 while the average visitor arriving there by air spent between US$200 to US$250 each day of their stay. However, figures for cruising to other destinations for the same year are much lower, with, for example, such visitors to The Bahamas recorded as spending US$$83 and to Barbados US$78.
Help is however at hand to better understand the broader impact of cruise tourism and the issues that governments and the region’s tourism industry after a long period of silence ought to revisit.
In June, the Washington-based Center for Responsible Travel, CREST, published a detailed and balanced study: ‘Cruise Tourism in the Caribbean: Selling Sunshine’.
Edited by the organisation’s outgoing executive director, Dr Martha Honey, it sets out for industry professionals the ways in which governments, tourist boards, citizens and the industry might change the nature of their future discourse with the cruise lines.
Apart from containing a contemporary analysis of cruise tourism, its environmental and social impacts, and the effects of climate change and overtourism, its 180 pages outline the reforms needed if cruise tourism is to bring greater benefit to the region.
Although some of the solutions it proposes will undoubtedly prove controversial with the cruise industry, the publication identifies many practical ways to resolve the problems they have created.
It offers ideas as to how to address the issue of the low head taxes that the cruise lines presently pay to government, suggests the need to incentivise home porting, indicates the important lessons to be learned from the negative experiences of Venice and Barcelona, discusses length of stay, and points to the positive models elsewhere the region might emulate.
But more importantly, ‘Selling Sunshine’ suggests the need for a cruise industry that is genuinely Caribbean-focused rather than one that exist solely to benefit the owners of the big cruise companies. As such its narrative and recommendations require serious consideration by any Caribbean politician who genuinely has at heart the need for national and social development.
The study follows an earlier interesting commentary by Robert C, the managing director of MacLellan & Associates, a Caribbean-based hospitality consultancy.
WHAT ABOUT OTEC?
He suggests that to have the normally intransigent cruise companies bring greater benefit, Caribbean governments should learn from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, and establish an Organisation of Tourism Economy Countries.
MacLellan argues that the weak negotiating position of individual Caribbean and Central American governments has many similarities to OPEC member states sixty years ago, and that a ‘rebalancing’ strategy should now be pursued by the Caribbean when it comes to the cruise lines. In this way, he suggests, not only could the issue of head taxes be addressed, but other issues of benefit to the region might be considered. Recent conferences on tourism held in Jamaica and Washington demonstrate that there is a growing appetite and anger among Caribbean participants for change. They say that what is required is a more equitable basis on which cruise ships operate in the region.
Frank Comito, executive director of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, believes that there is plenty of room for both the land and sea-based industry but what is required is for cruise lines’ involvement to be more balanced.
He observes that while the cruise lines have been a good corporate partner in times of crisis, supporting the immediate relief and recovery of destinations affected by hurricanes, many in the industry believe that they should be doing far more to protect and enhance the environment, develop the tourism product, support local businesses, and grow the Caribbean’s tax base.
He says that hotels and other local tourism partners bear the brunt of the tax burden on the tourism industry, contributing heavily to destination-improvement initiatives and local social causes, helping to market their destinations, and helping to enhance and protect the environment.
What is needed, he says, is a resolve by all stakeholders to work together on these and for the cruise industry to become a more engaged, conscientious partner.
Cruise ships have a potentially important socio-economic and environmental stewardship role to play in the Caribbean, but their contribution has to be about much more than helping in times of crisis or, for example, building piers or offering a handful of jobs and scholarships, and being able to sail away at will.
As Honey, MacLellan and Comito suggest, it is time to explore how the cruise lines can be encouraged to put much more back and play a genuinely sustainable developmental role in return for the value they derive from the Caribbean and their use of the region’s exclusive economic maritime zone.
PURCHASE, NY – September 4, 2019
Over the past ten years the world has seen economic ebbs and flows, evolving global competition and partnership, and boundless technological innovation. But, one thing has remained constant: people’s growing desire to travel the world, visit new landscapes and immerse themselves in other cultures. Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index, released today, quantifies this desire: since 2009, the number of international overnight visitors grew an astounding 76 percent.
This year, the Global Destination Cities Index—which ranks 200 cities based on proprietary analysis of publicly available visitor volume and spend data—reveals that Bangkok remains the No. 1 destination, with more than 22 million international overnight visitors. Paris and London, in flipped positions this year, hold the No. 2 and 3 spots, respectively both hovering over 19 million. All top ten cities saw more international overnight visitors in 2018 than the prior year, with the exception of London, which decreased nearly 4 percent. The forecast for 2019 indicates across-the-board growth, with Tokyo expecting the largest uptick in visitors.
When looking at the cities by dollar spent, Dubai tops the list with travelers spending USD $553 on average a day. Makkah, new to the top 10 last year, remains at No. 2 for the second consecutive year, with Bangkok rounding out the top three.
Notably this year, the Global Destination Cities Index offers a decade of insights to consider, with three key trends standing out.
Consistent & Steady Growth: Over the past decade, the one constant has been continual change. Each year, more people are traveling internationally and spending more in the cities. Between all of the destinations within the Index, arrivals have grown on average 6.5 percent year-over-year since 2009, with expenditure growing on average 7.4 percent.
The Sustained Dominance of Major Cities: While there has been significant movement in visitors to smaller cities, the top 10 has remained largely consistent. London, Paris and Bangkok have been the top 3 since 2010, with Bangkok as No. 1 six of the past seven years. New York is another top 10 stalwart, with 13.6 million overnight visitors this year.
The Rise of Asia-Pacific International Travelers: Cities in the Asia-Pacific region have seen the largest increase in international travelers since 2009, growing 9.4 percent. In comparison, Europe, which saw the second highest growth, was up 5.5 percent. This is spurred on by the growth in mainland Chinese travelers. Since 2009, mainland China has jumped up six places to be the No. 2 origin country for travelers to the 200 included destinations—behind only the U.S.
“In today’s interconnected world, travel has become an important part of how we work and how we live,” said Carlos Menendez, president, Enterprise Partnerships. “It’s critical for us to understand how travel impacts cities and destinations for the better and the challenges it poses, to ensure local leaders have the information and solutions they need to succeed.”
More information and the full reports can be found here.
The Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index ranks 200 cities based on third-party research and proprietary analysis in terms of the number of their total international overnight visitor arrivals and the cross-border spending by these same visitors in the destination cities in 2018 and gives visitor and expenditure growth forecasts.
Public data is used in deriving the international overnight visitor arrivals and their cross-border spending in each of the 200 destination cities. Forecasts are based upon the weighted average of the national level tourism forecasts and the actual 2019 monthly data at the destination level, which is available to the latest month before release.
This Index and the accompanying reports are not based on Mastercard volumes or transactional data.
The Asia Pacific Destinations Index (APDI) is a regional subset of Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index (GDCI).
More information and the full APDI report can be found here.
PLEASE NOTE. A correction has been made to the Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index. Santa Cruz De La Palma, Spain, was mislabeled and should read Las Palmas, Spain. The data within the report remains accurate and the destination has been updated to be attributed to Las Palmas.
Jim Hepple is an Assistant Professor at the University of Aruba and is Managing Director of Tourism Analytics.