Studies Show Impact of Alternative Accommodations in Hawaiʻi

March 10, 2017, 10:41 AM HST · Updated March 10, 10:44 AM

The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority has released two studies that show the impact of alternative accommodations in Hawaiʻi and the affect it has on tourism and housing availability statewide.

Daniel Nahoopii, HTA Director of Tourism Research, noted the two studies, “Hawaiʻi’s Home and Vacation Rental Market: Impact and Outlook by JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group” and “The Impact of Vacation Rental Units in Hawaiʻi  2016” by SMS Research and Marketing Services, provide an independent, factual analysis of how alternative accommodations affect tourism throughout the state.

Tourism. Photo by Wendy Osher.

The two studies complement the information provided in HTA’s annual Visitor Plant Inventory and monthly visitor statistics results.

Nahoopii said, “The depth and quality of information in the studies is illuminating, both in providing the public with a better understanding about alternative accommodations on a statewide level and how it is being utilized by visitors and residents. Our responsibility at HTA extends beyond tourism marketing to doing what’s best for communities statewide. These studies help residents, policymakers and tourism stakeholders to determine what actions are appropriate going forward.


“Alternative accommodations, particularly rentals of homes and condos by visitors, has been a segment of Hawaiʻi’s tourism industry for more than 20 years, but has grown significantly in recent years due to increased demand by travelers,” he continued. “It’s noteworthy that 15% of visitors said they would not travel to Hawaiʻi if alternative accommodations were not available. Spending by these visitors generated an estimated $1.87 billion for Hawaiʻi’s economy in 2016.”

The current market share of visitors staying in Hawaiʻi hotels has decreased 6% compared to 2000 (68% vs. 62%), while total visitor arrivals have increased 23% over the same period.

The market share of visitors renting residential units and other alternative accommodations in the Hawaiian Islands is currently 10%.

In 2015, the average occupancy of visitors renting residential units was 42%, with the average length of stay approximately 11 nights. The average occupancy of visitors renting primary residential units was 37%, and 51% to rent secondary or investment properties.

Five to 9% of Hawaiʻi residents are currently utilizing their properties as vacation rentals statewide. However, most of those surveyed said they do not want to continue this practice. The market share of residential units used for vacation rentals is expected to grow slowly over the next five years and peak at 12% total.

A fraction of residents, 0.4%, are using the homes they live in to rent out rooms to visitors.

Sixty percent of residents surveyed were motivated by financial necessity to offer their residential units to visitors as vacation rentals, noting the added income was needed to subsidize their housing costs. Twenty-one percent of residents stated they rented out units to meet and interact with unique people.


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