May 19th, 2014
Recently we had the opportunity to expand our selection of vacation rentals with the addition of a Waiulu Villa at Hualalai Resort. With this addition we are excited to potentially add more villas or homes at Hualalai to our vacation rental program.
Hualalai is home to some amazing multi million dollar properties. Annually it is recognized as one of the top vacation destinations in the world.
With the Four Seasons Hualalai as the cornerstone, not only are the accommodations amazing, but also world class service is offered. All guests of the resort have access to the amenities of the Four Seasons Hualalai, which includes world class restaurants, a selection of pools, a lagoon, and much more. The Hualalai Spa has been recognized as one of the top spas in the world and offers an array of services to guests of the resort. There are two highly desirable, exclusive golf courses.
While trying to offer a high level of service at Waikoloa Vacation Rentals, we are excited to start venturing into the resort that is known to be the most luxurious on the Big Island of Hawaii.
February 22nd, 2014
Each year we try to put together a report of what tourism in Hawaii seems to be doing as well as how that is affecting the vacation rental industry on the Kohala Coast. Every year the data seems to be very telling as to what is going on. 2013 is the first year that not only is hard to decipher as far as trends go, but also seems to be a bit negative in relation to the previous years.
Overall tourism is up in Hawaii slightly with an increase of 2.5% from 2012 to 2013. The main factor driving this trend is international guests with Japan leading the way. The largest percentage increase has been in the “Other” category, which includes China. It is suspected with the increase in 2013, with Hawaiian Airlines lobbying to get a direct flight from China to Hawaii, and with China’s economic state that this number will drastically increase in the coming years.
When you look at how the islands fared specifically, Oahu was the only island with a significant increase. This logically makes sense given that the island of choice for the visitors from Asia tends to be Oahu. With an increase in international visitors, Oahu will typically see the largest increase in visitors. It is worth noting that some of the smaller islands such as Kauai and Lanai saw the largest percentage increase of international visitors.
What I found extremely interesting was that the largest increase in accommodation type was with vacation rentals. In years past, international visitors have traditionally stayed in hotels due to packages such as JALPAK and that the hotels typically have services for guests that do not speak English. In fact, vacation rentals were really the only type that saw an increase. Vacation rentals saw an increase of almost 5% while hotels saw an increase of just over 1%.
For the second year straight, there was a decrease in the average night stay. This is in line with the fact that the largest increase in people were due to vacations and conventions.
How does all of this relate to your vacation rental on the Kohala Coast? This is the first year in a while that there was not much change related to vacation rentals on the Big Island. With the visitors increasing by less than 2% and vacation rentals increasing by less than 5% there was some positive growth, but not as much as recent years.
As a whole, the State of Hawaii had a very positive first half of 2013 to offset a somewhat negative second half. While the first half of 2014 looks to be very positive, the second half is what will make the difference for 2014.
September 4th, 2013
The Hawaii tourism industry continues to be on the rise in 2013 with both arrivals and expenditures up!
Where Are the Visitors Coming From?
For the past couple of years the largest growth has been with the Canadian market. That has not been the case for 2013, which has seen the largest growth come from the US West market. The least amount of growth has come from the US East market. The Japan market is the only market that has shown a decrease in visitors for the summer.
How Are the Islands Faring?
While the Big Island of Hawaii has seen some of the best growth in previous years, that is not the case for 2013. Lanai’i has seen the best growth, with Oahu seeing the best growth of the larger markets. The Big Island did see a fair amount of growth in the spring, but has just seen a 2% increase over the summer. The other major markets experienced growths of 6-7% during the summer months. Many people speculate the sudden growth for Oahu is partially in relation to the popular Disney resort, Aulani, becoming more well known.
Where Are They Choosing to Stay?
The vacation rental industry has seen the largest growth for the past four years and that is continuing in 2013. The vacation rental industry has been a bit more sporadic this year with small increases in the winter months and increases of close to 10% in the summer months. With the space and amenities that vacation rentals offer it makes sense to see them do well in the summer months when a lot of families are traveling.
What Does All of This Mean For Vacation Rentals on the Big Island?
While things are moving in the right direction for all areas of the travel industry in Hawaii, they are not increasing as aggressively for the Big Island this year and especially this summer. The positive is that the vacation rental sector has been very strong this summer partially offsetting the minimal increase in visitors and decrease in length of stay.
What Does the Future Look Like?
I suspect that a lot of this is temporary. The vacation rental industry has continued to grow nationally over the last few years and I suspect that to continue. With average spending continuing to increase I would suspect that higher end properties will increase more rapidly than others.
February 26th, 2012
2011 offered another positive year for the vacation rental industry in Hawaii. WIth increases in both the overall tourism and the use of vacation rentals, the vacation rental industry saw the most growth of any of the accommodation types in Hawaii.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority reported a 3.5% growth in visitors to Hawaii from 2010 to 2011. Of all the Hawaiian Islands, the Big Island and Kauai had the largest increases, but Maui and Oahu still remain the two most popular islands to visit in Hawaii.
For accommodation types, vacation rentals had the largest growth. This is two years in a row the vacation rental industry has had substantial growth in Hawaii. Marketing as well as economic factors have played a large role. The only accommodations that saw a dip in use were timeshares.
Along with visitors bring up, their average spending and length of stay grew. December 2011 was the best month on record for visitor spending in Hawaii.
Waikoloa Vacation Rentals’ statistics were consistent with the overall statistics for Hawaii. We saw growth in occupancy, length of stay, and average nightly rate. This is the second consecutive year we have had significant changes in those categories.
With preliminary reports showing January 2012 being significantly better than January 2011, it appears that the tourism industry in Hawaii is still on the rise.
March 20th, 2011
Due to extensive damage from the Japanese tsunami, Kona Village decided to close for an extended period of time. This has left many of their customers looking for a place to stay elsewhere on the Big Island of Hawaii.
“We are very sad to close Kona Village Resort for an extended period of time, but the damage to the property from this natural disaster is severe enough to render it inoperable,” said Patrick Fitzgerald, CEO of Hualalai Resort/Kona Village Resort. “We are fortunate that our guests and employees were evacuated safely. Our hearts are heavy with this decision’s impact on employees and loyal guests who have visited us over the years. Our thoughts also are with the people of Japan during this difficult time.”
Kona Village has offered full refunds to all of their guests that were planning to stay in 2011. Due to the unique nature of Kona Village, many of their guests are repeat visitors every year. For the first time many of the guests have had to find a new place to stay. Many of them are looking to Kolea at Waikoloa Beach Resort and Mauna Lani Terrace, which are both beachfront vacation rental communities. Rob Dalton of Waikoloa Vacation Rentals stated, “Within the last week we received five reservations from guests that were scheduled to stay at Kona Village. All of them were bummed to not get to stay at Kona Village, but excited to try something new.”
It appears that a fair amount of guests that typically stay at Kona Village prefer vacation rentals to hotels. Given that most guests of Kona Village come to the Big Island annually, not only will the closure have a positive impact on vacation rentals short term, but also long term as the guests look to return to Hawaii for their annual vacation.
We wish for a speedy recovery for Kona Village and will keep you informed as the repairs begin.
September 16th, 2010
August was one of the busiest non-winter months Waikoloa Vacation Rentals has experienced since being in the vacation rental business. Talking with other professionals involved in lodging on the island, they also enjoyed more success than preceding months. Many speculated that we may be in “recovery” mode. With the recent release of vacation rental statistics it proved the exact opposite on a national level.
During August 2010, arrivals and revenues for the vacation rental industry fell 15% from August 2009. August caused the vacation rental industry to fall 3% behind 2009 in terms of arrivals. With over half of the year gone and the bulk of the traveling months passed, it is tough to tell if the vacation rental industry will have a better year in 2010 than 2009.
On a positive note, Hawaii fared the best out of all the states. The rental rates, arrivals, and length of stay were all up, generating a 19% increase in revenue. Considering that the states that fared the worst were the ones affected by the oil spill, many speculate that Hawaii did so well due to it being a viable alternative for those states. Looking at flight rates, which are also a large factor in contributing to Hawaii tourism, they were very similar to 2009 so that is not the cause of the increase in tourism.
Although we are extremely happy that August was a great month in Hawaii for the vacation rental industry, looking at the national figures it still appears that the vacation rental industry is far from recovery.
July 16th, 2010
The vacation rental statistics have been released for the first half of 2010. While many people felt that tourism was doing better throughout the US in 2010 versus 2009, the statistics show the two years to be just about even. Hawaii was one of the few states that shows a large increase in occupancy in 2010 versus 2009. Hawaii enjoyed an increase of 24% in the number of nights reserved in the first half of 2010 versus 2009. There are a couple speculated reasons for this.
The first speculation is that many annual Florida vacationers chose to go to Hawaii due to the recent oil spill. Florida had a decrease in 3% in the number of nights reserved. A neighboring state, Alabama had a 15% decrease, which was one one of the largest.
The second speculation is that there were several large scale conferences held throughout the islands in the first quarter, which brought in a large number of people. Due to the economy in 2009, there were several large companies that canceled conferences in Hawaii that typically have conferences every year. A lot of hotels offered unprecedented deals on wedding packages bringing in groups to the resort areas.
The first quarter of 2010 started off strong and has steadily decreased throughout the US. This decrease will more than likely carry into the second half of 2010. From what is currently reserved Hawaii looks as though it will have a strong half of 2010 as opposed to 2009.
March 24th, 2010
The vacation rental industry is a large part of the Hawaii economy. Not only does it play a large role in tourism, but it also is a large contibutor to state taxes due to the transient accommodations tax. Just recently with the struggles of the economy the state and counties have had a hard time enforcing policies that have been set to regulate the industry.
The first issue is non conforming use of homes. This is when the homeowners attempt to rent their properties out as vacation rentals when the land use ordinance does not allow for that property to be a vacation rental. In these instances the fines can range from $50-$1000/day. Many homeowners can reach $100,000 in fines quickly. Typically if the county brings the issue to the homeowners attention and it is dealt with in a timely manner the fine will be drastically reduced up to 75%. If it is not dealt with in a timely manner then the county can enforce the maximum penalty since this non conforming use falls in the category of the homeowner doing it solely for financial gain.
The second issue is homeowners attempting to rent their properties out on their own and not being fully aware of the taxes for vacation rentals. For vacation rentals not only do you have the general excise tax, but you also have the transient accommodations tax of over 8%. This tax was raised by 1% in 2009 and will be raised another percent in 2010. There are a substantial amount of owners that do not pay this tax. Another fair amount of owners were unaware of the tax increases and did not charge the guests accordingly and did not pay the state the correct amount. Failing to pay the correct taxes for a vacation rental is fraud and homeowners can potentially be imprisioned.
Where the battle of legislation comes into play is that the counties would like to see the tax records from the state to see who is paying transient accommodations taxes. The counties are confident that most people do pay at least a portion of the transient accommodations taxes to avoid legal issues. If the counties could gain access to this information then they could compare the data to the land use ordinances to see who is renting their home out as a vacation rental in an area where this is not allowed. The state of Hawaii tax department can not share the information with the counties due to legislation. The two have battled for over a year now and no agreement has been met.
As the economy continues to struggle the state of Hawaii is bound to see this as a greater issue in the future. Many second homeowners are doing what they feel they need to do to keep possession of their home and not lose it to foreclosure. Hopefully in the near future the counties and state can reach an agreement to help policies be enforced.
February 16th, 2010
As the economy continues to struggle people are finding it more necessary to take a vacation and get away from the “stresses of life”. Many people that once desired all the amenities and services of hotels have moved to staying in vacation rentals in order to save some money. Just recently there were two great examples of the move towards staying in vacation rentals on the television.
HomeAway, one of the leading vacation rental marketers, launched the first vacation rental advertisement during the Super Bowl. They brought back Chevy Chase and portrayed the hotel experience as a really bad one. Not only was it great for HomeAway, but it also increased awareness of vacation rentals as an option for vacations.
The Bachelor is a television show that has been aired for years. I think they have had close to a dozen seasons. As the show comes to an end the setting is typically in a beautiful location and they stay in one of the finest hotels there. This year it was set in St. Lucia in the Bahamas where many people are familiar with the hotel chains such as Sandals Resorts that operate there. Instead of staying in these notable resorts, they stayed in two and three bedroom luxury vacation rentals with private pools and jacuzzis. It was not something that they really publicized, but it just once again built peoples awareness of vacation rentals.
September 2nd, 2007
Kolea 1F is one of the few villas at Kolea with at least a partial ocean view from each bedroom. You also get to enjoy the Waikoloa Beach Resort golf package, which includes golf for $50-$75 at the two courses.