January hotel performance report: Maui tourism rebounding in room occupancy rates

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Wailea Beach. The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority reports hotel occupancy rates are rising after visitors stayed away in the immediate aftermath of the August Maui wildfires. File PC: Wendy Osher

Half a year after the devastating Aug. 8 Maui wildfires, tourism is making a comeback in Maui County when measured by hotel occupancy but not so much by room revenue, according to the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority’s monthly hotels performance report released Tuesday.

Hotel occupancy in Maui County was 71.4% in January, up from 67.7% in the same month last year, the authority reported. Maui County’s average daily hotel room rates fell 11.5% to $560.31 compared with 2023, but up 27.6% compared with 2019. Revenue per available room sunk 6.8% to $399.85 compared with 2023, but increased 20.4% compared with 2019.

In January, statewide hotel occupancy rates were 75.4%, up 2.6 percentage points from January 2023. Average daily room rates declined 3.4 percentage points to $378.29; and revenue per available room rose slightly to $285.14.


Although occupancy in Wailea was 68.8% in January (up from 58.9% a year earlier), luxury hotels in the South Maui resort area continue to lead the state as money-makers. Wailea hotels’ average daily room rate was $867.78 in January (the highest for any region in the state, although down from $1,018.35 in January 2023). Wailea’s revenue per available room was $597.13, down slightly from a year ago, but the highest, by far, in the state.

In January, hotels in the Lahaina/Kāʻanapali/Kapalua region were occupied by a mix of displaced Lahaina residents impacted by the fires, relief workers, and visitors. The Lahaina/Kā‘anapali/Kapalua region had revenue per available room of $344 (-14% vs. 2023, +25.1% vs. 2019), an average daily rate of $468 (-15.4% vs. 2023, +26.1% vs. 2019) and occupancy of 73.5% (+1.2 percentage points vs. 2023, -0.6 percentage points vs. 2019).

The hotel occupancy report is more evidence that visitors are returning, after heeding calls to stay away in the immediate aftermath of the wildfires. In September, the daily census of tourists was 23,633 in September, off by 58%. Air arrivals fell 57.1% in September, compared with the same month in 2022; and visitor spending dropped 52.6% to $203.2 million, compared with $428.3 million in September 2022.


The last reopening phases of West Maui accommodations began Nov. 1, which included the remaining area from Kahana to Kā‘anapali. In November, hotels in the Lahaina/Kāʻanapali/Kapalua region were occupied by a mix of displaced Lahaina residents impacted by the fires, relief workers, and visitors.

December arrivals showed the largest number of visitors to come to Maui compared to the previous five months, but visitor spending remained down compared with December 2022 or 2019.


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