A new analysis by CBRE finds that the emerging alternative accommodation industry in Hawaii may not have a significant impact on hotels, and might actually attract tourists that may have otherwise stayed away due to expensive lodging.
In its first analysis, PKF Hospitality Research, a CBRE Company, takes a closer look at companies including Airbnb, VRBO and Flipkey — online lodging platforms that allow individuals to rent their homes to visitors.
The “sharing economy” startups are pushing the conventional notion of what it means to vacation in the Islands, as well as “redefining boundaries, both economic and regulatory,” according to the report. The most recent count shows approximately 10 percent of total visitor accommodation units in Hawaii are vacation rentals.
Data from Airdna reveal that there are now approximately 6,900 Airbnb listings in Hawaii, most on Oahu. More rental properties are listed on VRBO and FlipKey, among other sites.
“Future inroads made by network orchestrators such as Airbnb are therefore likely to have less impact on Hawaii’s hotels compared to other markets, particularly when consistently high hotel occupancy levels point to significant unaccommodated demand,” says CBRE, which utilized Google Trends in its analysis. “In the optimal scenario, CBRE believes that an increase in alternative vacation rental accommodations at a lower price point may even serve to induce more visitation to Hawaii.”
The online network of vacation rentals could have a minimal impact on hotels, CBRE argues, noting Hawaii hotels currently enjoy high occupancy levels, and that doesn’t necessarily “induce” greater supply of alternative accommodation units. Oahu already has a “well-established vacation rental industry,” the report states, noting further investigation is required for a complete picture of the industry.
“In addition to numerous local residential real estate and tour/travel agencies with vacation rental listings, VRBO has traditionally been the leader in vacation rental inventory on the web for the Hawaiian Islands,” CBRE says. “With these market-specific factors added to the mix, any analysis would have to first account for the quantum of units not captured by Airbnb before valid conclusions can be drawn.”
Lorin Eleni Gill
Pacific Business News