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Hawaii visitor units top 80,000

LIHUE — The Hawaii Tourism Authority on Wednesday released the 2017 Visitor Plant Inventory, which showed that visitor accommodation units statewide increased to 80,336 units, up 1.6 percent, year-over-year, the largest total ever recorded for the state.

The annual census of existing and planned visitor accommodation units statewide showed growth in three of the five categories reported, with increases in hotel rooms (+1.2 percent to 44,431), timeshare units (+3.2 percent to 11,062) and vacation rental units (+3.9 percent to 12,659) compared to 2016.

Condo hotel units declined slightly (-0.4 percent to 10,875) and there was a decrease in units provided by apartments, bed &breakfasts, hostels and other miscellaneous accommodations (-3.5 percent to 1,309).

Nearly half of Hawaii’s visitor accommodation units are on Oahu (47.9 percent), with the majority in Waikiki. Maui has the second-highest percentage of units (26.5 percent), followed by the island of Hawaii (14 percent) and Kauai (11 percent). Molokai and Lanai combined for the fewest units (0.6 percent).

“The report shows that Hawaii has an effective mix of accommodation offerings that is meeting the lodging interests of travelers coming from around the world,” said Jennifer Chun, HTA director of tourism research. “From the properties that we can survey and assess, overall growth in 2017 was modest highlighted by increases in the supply of hotel rooms and timeshare units.”

Chun noted the following updates for each island in the 2017 Visitor Plant Inventory:

Kauai: The expansion of the Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu, Autograph Collection, resulted in a net increase in the island’s hotel units.

Oahu: The island’s supply of hotel rooms increased in 2017 with the opening of new hotels, such as the Hampton Inn &Suites and Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach, and the reopening of several properties following a renovation or rebranding, including the Prince Waikiki, The Laylow Autograph Collection and Holiday Inn Express Waikiki. Also notable was the opening of the new Hilton Grand Islander in Waikiki with 411 timeshare units in March 2017.

Maui: The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas opened with 195 timeshare units in April 2017, increasing the island’s total timeshare units by 6.9 percent.

Island of Hawaii: There was a net decrease in hotel units due to the renovation of the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel and redevelopment of the 555-hotel unit Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort &Spa, which reopened as the 122-timeshare unit Marriott’s Waikoloa Ocean Club.

“If all vacation rentals could be accurately identified and counted, the overall total of Hawaii’s visitor accommodation units would be greater in the 2017 Visitor Plant Inventory report,” said Chun. “Until all vacation rentals are being accounted for in the report, the tourism industry will never fully know the impact this segment of accommodations is having on the quality of Hawaii’s brand as a travel destination.”

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