Despite the spread of the delta variant, tourists flock to Hawaii for vacations. Many are booking vacation rental properties, which continue to far outperform hotels in terms of occupancy rates. Hawaii Tourism Authority Says Vacation Rentals Have Higher Occupancy Than Hotels Since October, And The Trend Continues
“I’m full until April, even a little further,” said Cindy Wild, a vacation rental company on the island of Hawaii. Wild said most vacation rentals on the west side of the Big Island are booked until next year.
“I think we’re at full capacity, I would say. I’m sure if you look on Vrbo and Airbnb there aren’t a lot of vacancies because there are really a lot of people, ”she said.
Vacation rentals are cheaper than hotels and it’s easier for groups to stay together. Short-term rentals also inject money into state and local governments through taxes and fees.
The state’s tourism agency said it all totaled about $ 3 billion in 2018. Vacation rentals in Maui County, for example, account for 37% of annual property tax revenue.
“This year alone, short-term rentals will provide Maui County with $ 142 million,” said Jen Russo, executive director of the Maui Vacation Rental Association. “Compared to other accommodation for visitors, vacation rentals are the only segment to have increased their tax contributions. “
But not everyone is happy; some residents are annoyed by tourists who cause disturbances in normally quiet neighborhoods.
Kathleen Pahinui, a resident of O’ahu, lived next door to a vacation rental unit, which led her to join a community group advocating for more regulations on short-term rentals.
“Partying at night, especially in the middle of the week,” Pahinui said of short-term tenants. “I have to get up and go to work the next day. It is not a resort area. It’s a community, and you are not respectful.
In addition to the nightly disruptions and problems with parking in the neighborhood, Pahinui says there are cases of out-of-state investors buying houses to rent to tourists, driving up real estate prices. and exacerbates the local housing crisis.
As each county issues permits for vacation rental units, pressure is mounting to allow fewer and to push Airbnb to stop advertising unlicensed rentals.