Hawaii is not only one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world, but Oahu, the island which harbors the state’s capitol and largest city, ranks among the top in global island and sun destinations in the world as well. Oahu’s island-wide hotel occupancy rose 4.7% from last year, topping off at 85.6% through the first nine months of 2012. This impressive occupancy and room revenue has been great news for Hawaii’s tourism industry, as well as those in the hospitality industry and small business island-wide. However, due to the large amount of travelers headed to Hawaii, (which now seems to be happening year-round) travel agents are having a hard time finding hotel and resort availability, thus making it difficult to book affordable vacations.
Debra Stern, a travel agent based out of San Jose, California working with the company Peak Travel Group states, “There are just times when we cannot get rooms on Oahu for our clients. And it seems like it’s because of the increased lift from Australia and the fact that the Japanese market is coming back, and there are new flights from Korea. It just seems like Oahu is getting harder and harder to book.” Peak travel seasons usually drop after summer, with October and November being somewhat slow, picking back up for winter and slowing back down again for February through May. However, travel agents are having difficulties through the fall, and it appears it will continue to be tough into 2013’s “slow seasons” as well.
GM of the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa believes that booking in advance is the best way to ensure a vacation in Hawaii. “Waikiki is an extremely popular destination right now,” he said. “The demand for rooms from our partners is extremely high and more so right now than it’s probably ever been. Normally with our revenue streams, if one market is high, another is low, but they’re all producing strong demands at the moment.”