Hawaii Vacation News Nuggets

Hawaii Hotel Occupancy Up

On a statewide level, Hawaii was up by 3.5% last week on hotel occupancy compared to the same week from last year. 75.8% of Hawaii hotels were full, with the average daily room rates at $189.39, a 2.6% statewide increase.

  • Oahu’s average room rate: $183.37
  • Maui: $212.66- the largest gain in occupancy of all the islands and the highest average room rate.
  • Big Island: $169.22- the lowest average room rate.
  • Kauai: $189.67
  • Honolulu Marathon Boosts Visitor Spending

This year, Hawaii’s largest sporting event will take place on Sunday, December 9th. The Honolulu Marathon is known to bring both Japanese and mainland tourists to Oahu, specifically to participate in this race. In 2011, more than 22,000 people joined in on the event, with $107 million generated through visitor spending. Of the total amount, 14,000 participants were from Japan and 1,350 were from the continental U.S. Hawaii Pacific University study shows that the Honolulu Marathon has generated $100 million every year in visitor spending, for a consistent seven years in a row. Registration is online, with fees beginning at $175 and hiking up to $280 in December.

Whale Season Starts Early

One of the earliest documented humpback whale sightings in Hawaii history happened on August 30th this year, off the coast of Big Island. Normally, visitors can expect to see the whales during their migration season, which typically begins in November and ends in May, but heightened during the months of January, February, and March. The early sighting is good news for nature enthusiasts, and anyone else looking to travel to Hawaii during these times for whale-watching. The only state in the nation where humpback whales comes to mate, give birth, and nurse, whale-watching has become a much loved activity among tourists and locals alike.

Martin & MacArthur Launch New Store

If you’ve always loved browsing through Martin & MacArthur shops when you’re visiting Hawaii, then we’ve got good news for you. They’ve recently just launched their newest store, an online version, which is considered the company’s website. President and CEO of Martin & MacArthur Michael Tam says, “We’re delighted we’ve built and launched this new store.” Known for its koa wood furniture, décor pieces, and local crafts and gifts, the online store has undergone three redesigns since the company began its online shopping idea in 2009. “Tam said he expects online sales will be about equal to those of Martin & MacArthur’s 10 other retail store locations, and the company projects website sales growth will outpace retail store sales growth. This year, Tam said, sales from the website are 50 to 60 percent higher than in 2011.”

Time Share Units For Sale in Waikiki

Time-share units at the Hokulani Waikiki are now on sale, with a one-week interval price starting at $24,100. Formerly an Outrigger hotel, the Hokulani Waikiki is a 143-room property managed by Outrigger Enterprises, which will be launching its new brand in late 2013. Hilton Grand Vacations is selling the suites, with the property positioned at the corner of Kalakaua Ave. and Lewers St. in Waikiki. “Hilton bought the former 285-room Ohana Islander Waikiki, which has been closed since 2008, from Outrigger Enterprises in the spring of 2011, and work to renovate the property began later in the year.”

Zip Lining: Recorded to be a Safe Activity in Hawaii

Good news for those seeking a new adventure while vacationing in Hawaii. Zip lining, one of Hawaii’s hottest new activities, was under scrutiny after last year’s accident, but has turned up safe. State auditor Marion Higa says, “Despite a tragic accident costing the life of a zip line course builder’s employee in September 2011, there is insufficient data supporting the existence of a serious risk to the public’s health, safety, and welfare,” Higa said in the report, noting that the construction worker’s death was the only zip line-related fatality in the state’s history.”
A recent search of the state’s hospital records indicate that only five zip line related accidents have occurred between 2008 and 2012, with an estimated 700,000 people riding on the zip lines every year. “The state auditor’s report also pointed out that Hawaii’s zip lines are already inspected annually for insurance purposes by accredited experts, resulting in an industry that “is basically self-regulating.”