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Holding on to their fair share

LIHUE — Timeshare properties in Hawaii averaged a 90.1 percent occupancy rate statewide in the third quarter.

By comparison, hotel properties averaged an 81.4 percent occupancy rate for the quarter.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority released the Hawaii Timeshare Quarterly Report for the third quarter, showing that timeshare accommodations grew by 725 units to 11,233 units statewide compared to a year earlier.

“With so much public dialogue about Hawaii lodging focused on hotels and alternative accommodations, the impact of timeshare properties tends to get overlooked,” said Jennifer Chun, HTA director of tourism research. “Timeshare visitors consistently fill up resort properties on a year-round basis, their average stay is longer than other visitors, and owners pay more in taxes.”

Timeshare occupied room nights statewide increased by 4 percent in the third quarter year-over-year.

However, with the supply of available timeshare units also increasing by 5.8 percent during the same period, the overall occupancy rate statewide declined slightly by 1.5 percentage points in the third quarter compared to a year earlier.

The average timeshare occupancy rate for all four island counties dipped slightly in the third quarter year-over-year.

Oahu timeshare occupancy averaged 92.5 percent (down 1.7 percentage points), Maui County timeshare occupancy averaged 90.8 percent (down 1.7 percentage points), Kauai timeshare occupancy averaged 89.4 percent (down 1.1 percentage points), and the island of Hawaii timeshare occupancy averaged 84.6 percent (down 2.7 percentage points).

The decline in third quarter occupancy was partly due to new timeshare units opening in early 2017, as the supply of available timeshare units outpaced demand. This is reflected in the accompanying bar chart showing the timeshare occupancy rate for the state and by island through the first three quarters.

The average timeshare occupancy rate for the four island counties was at its highest in the first quarter of 2017, with statewide at 92.6 percent, Oahu at 92.7 percent, Maui at 94.1 percent, Kauai at 91.5 percent, and the island of Hawaii at 91.1 percent.

With an influx of new timeshare units entering the marketplace, particularly in March and April of 2017, the average occupancy rate dropped in the second quarter, with statewide at 88.2 percent, Oahu at 90.8 percent, Maui at 92 percent and both Kauai and the island of Hawaii at 83 percent each.

Chun noted timeshare properties are essential to Hawaii’s mix of accommodations offerings.

“Hawaii is one of the few destinations worldwide that considers timeshare properties to be a traditional accommodation,” she said. “Timeshare has a major influence on tourism’s overall success and Hawaii’s ability to attract repeat visitors who commit to spend their time and money annually in the islands.”

HTA’s timeshare report showed that 235,112 visitors stayed at a timeshare resort in the Hawaiian Islands for all or part of their stay during the third quarter, an increase of 7.6 percent year-over-year.

Timeshare visitors’ average length of stay in the Hawaiian Islands during the third quarter was 9.7 days, which was higher than the average length of stay of 8.8 days for all visitors.

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