HONOLULU (KHON2) — While hotels are still not as full as they used to be, properties are making more money. Hotel revenue is way up compared to numbers from 2019.
Visitor arrivals this year are down 10%, occupancy is down 7%, but hotels are generating 24% more revenue according to the Hawai’i Tourism Authority.
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“We’re in the catbird seat right now,” UH Manoa Shidler College of Business professor Jerry Agrusa said. “Where for the United States, Hawaii is the place to come to, and with COVID people waited two years. They have a lot of saved-up travel money.”
On average, folks are paying anywhere between 23% to 51% more a night for a room. Visitor spending this year is up almost 14% compared to 2019 at $1.7 billion.
“That’s good for the hotels and good for the workers too because they’ll get a higher spending tourist, who will probably leave bigger tips,” Agrusa said.
As hotels make more revenue, Unite HERE Local 5, the union which represents many hospitality workers tells KHON2 that their workers at Hilton, Marriott, Sheraton, Kyo-Ya, and Hyatt properties have gotten a dollar-an-hour-increase this year.
“I heard a lot of hotels are hurting for their food and beverage operations for the management and their salaries have bumped up. It’s a good time to be graduating. It’s a good time to be in this industry,” Agrusa said.
The state says the industry has added 9,900 jobs since last year. Agrusa says many hotels have been struggling to find staff since they reopened from the pandemic.
“People left, some people left they went to the other industries or they left the islands. And we ramped up when we didn’t realize that it was going to come this fast, the wave. And you can see that there’s a shortage. I know that I get jobs, minimum of 40-50 A week from different hotels. Professor, please pass this out to you students, we have this many openings,”
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If you’re looking for employment, the Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations is hosting a job fair Wednesday from 10 am to 1 pm at Keehi Lagoon.