When is Too High, Too High?

Is Hawaii’s visitor industry pricing itself out of the market? I keep reading reports about how hotel
are up (due in part to higher room rates, while at the same time owners seem to be telling employees there just isn’t enough money for a raise this year, or next, or the next)
but I wonder if we aren’t beginning to see some customer push back.

I mentioned earlier about the decrease in visitors from Japan (who, on average, spend more per day
than most other groups). To be fair, visitors from the mainland seem to
have more than made up the difference and we may be on track for a
record or near record year in visitor counts.

But another large source of income are the conventions. And although I’m sure our convention center
folks have been doing as much as they can to bring in more business,
I’m beginning to see anecdotal evidence that some opportunities
are being lost because the cost of coming and staying here is too high.

Recently the American Bar Association held their annual convention in Waikiki. However, there was
some talk that the number of attendees was down relative to past
conventions. Whether it was I don’t know. But I also hear of another
legal connected convention that has decided not to come here because of
the cost.

Now, if those in the legal professions can’t seem to justify the cost of coming here, how is it
that we think Joe and Jane Average will either?

I’m no prophet so who knows what the future will bring but it seems to me that hotel owners/managers need to
carefully examine their prices before revenues begin to really go down due to lack of customers.

Have a Great Weekend, Everyone – Aloha!


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