Fewer Guests, Higher Rates in Hawaii

Hammered by financial troubles in Asia and shorter stays by visitors, Waikiki in January recorded its lowest average hotel occupancy rate in 15 years--78%--then rebounded in February, to 87%, still down from a year ago, according to the PKF-Hawaii consulting firm in Honolulu. Overall for Hawaii, February was the 10th straight month of declining occupancy.

Judging by the average cost of rooms, price breaks for consumers were not apparent. Waikiki's average hotel rate was $136.14 versus $134.87 in 1997. Meanwhile, the Big Island has continued to increase in popularity, with room prices averaging $159.13 in February versus $141.95 a year ago.

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