New data from the Hawaiian Tourism Authority indicates that condo use by Japanese travelers has risen in 2017, accounting for 11.7 percent of the accommodation choices. By contrast, Japanese tourists choosing hotels for accommodation has dropped 2.5 percent to 83.6 percent. We have been closely following this trend for years. As a property owner, utilizing the short-term rental market in Hawaii is especially lucrative, as tourism is the state's biggest industry with no signs of slowing down. Contact me to talk story about how to best take advantage of this growing trend.
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While the majority of Japanese tourists still plan on staying in a hotel during their trip to Hawaii, the percentage who choose a hotel stay is declining as condominiums gain in popularity, according to data from the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
For the first half of the year, 83.6 percent of visitors traveling to Hawaii from Japan chose to stay in a hotel, which is 2.5 percentage points less than last year. Meanwhile, condo use by the Japanese traveler rose 1.9 percentage points to 11.7 percent, and those staying in a time share increased 0.6 percent to 5.4 percent.
“Japanese travelers are increasingly booking alternative accommodations because of the price point, and it offers an option for experiential travel,” Eric Takahata, managing director of Hawaii Tourism Japan, previously told Pacific Business News.
Hawaii hoteliers are noticing the rise of alternative accommodations, with the impact starting to show in 2016.
“Particularly in Waikiki, we saw the Japanese traveler buying down into lower accommodations, and repeat travelers are going through online travel agencies and switching from JTB, which caused a deterioration in hotel rates,” David Richard, regional director of sales and marketing, Hawaii and French Polynesia for Starwood and Marriott, previously told Pacific Business News.
From the Mainland, Hawaii’s main tourism source, rental houses are on their way to surpassing timeshares as the second most popular accommodation choice.
Of the visitors traveling to Hawaii from the West Coast during the first half of 2017, 50.3 percent planned to stay in a hotel, 11.5 percent planned to stay in a time share, and 11.3 percent planned to stay in a rental house. Time-share use declined 0.1 percent, while rental house use increased 0.9 percent.
From the East Coast, 60.7 percent plan to stay in a hotel, up 0.3 percent from last year; 9.7 percent plan to stay in a time share, down 0.7 percent; and 9.5 percent plan to stay in a rental house, up 0.6 percent from the first half of 2016.
Canada has the lowest mix of hotel use among the top four markets, and this use was flat in 2017, increasing 0.3 percent to 43.2 percent during the first six months of the year.
More than a third of Canadian visitors stay in condos, while 12.5 percent stayed in rental houses, a 1.5 percent increase from last year and 3.1 percentage points more than the time-share market.
Katie Murar covers tourism, restaurants, retail and residential real estate for Pacific Business News.