Hawaii is a popular vacation destination where travelers can enjoy warm temperatures, water sports, and hiking all year long. Hawaii has had strict COVID regulations in place; prior to October 15th, visitors were required to quarantine in their accommodations for 14 days before being able to move freely about the island. This requirement led to increased average length of stay. Though vacation rental occupancy has been much lower than last year, some travelers were willing and able to board a plane with the intent to spend 2+ weeks in Hawaii. Between the beginning of August through the end of September, the average length of stay was 13.2 days longer than last year. The increase from about 7 days to 20+ shows that many renters chose to stay even longer than required.
With the trial testing program announced September 16th, visitors arriving after October 15 will be able to skip the 14-day quarantine with proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 3 days of traveling. The day after this announcement, bookings increased nearly 30% and averaged higher than they had since March. Though daily bookings for Hawaii vacation rentals remain low, we believe that bookings will continue to trend upward since 14-day stays are no longer required and air travel is beginning to return.
For bookings made between September 17th and October 7th, the average length of stay is similar to last year. This has brought the average length of stay for the rest of the year closer to 2019 levels, although it remains slightly higher.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant impacts on the economies of every state in the U.S., but Hawaii has been among the most severely impacted. This recent boost to the tourism industry in Hawaii is an important step to restarting the economy, after thousands of people have been furloughed or laid off. Hawaii is seeing a gradual decline in COVID cases, but a timeline for significant reopening has not yet been released. We will continue to monitor Hawaii vacation rental activity as travel and tourism returns to the island destination.
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