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Products: Hawaii's Economy

Keep up to date with the latest UHERO products.

The Conversation: Sumner La Croix on the Future of Tourism

Sumner La Croix appears on The Conversation to discuss the future of Hawaii's tourism industry.

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UHERO County Forecast: Healthy county economies face growing pains

Hawaii’s four counties are enjoying robust economic conditions and look set for continued growth. Tourism keeps surprising to the upside, even as visitor numbers strain infrastructure and communities. Record low unemployment will limit job growth but bring welcome income gains. Kauai flooding and the Kilauea eruption remind us that the counties remain vulnerable to adverse developments, whether at home or beyond our shores.

This analysis and near-term forecast is available as a service to the public. For more detailed multi-year forecasts, subscribe to UHERO's Forecast Project.

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UHERO State Forecast Update: Ready or not, Hawaii is set for more growth

Now in its ninth year, Hawaii’s expansion shows no signs of letting up. Tourism has surged again in the first part of 2018, extending one of the longest periods of sustained visitor growth. Construction, while volatile month to month, also remains on a high plateau. The long run of strong demand has created very tight labor markets, and it has imposed burdens on infrastructure and some communities. These constraints will slow, but not stop, growth over the next few years.

This analysis and near-term forecast is available as a service to the public. For more detailed multi-year forecasts, subscribe to UHERO's Forecast Project.

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Rethinking Hawaii Tourism: Time to Shift from Marketing to Managing Tourism?

We know from Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) resident surveys that Hawaii residents perceive tourism is our economic lifeline, but it is also a cause of significant number of problems in our lives. Even though most respondents still think tourism brings more benefits than costs to our state, the percent of those who think otherwise has been rising for some time. That perception is supported by Paul Brewbaker’s presentation today. Paul’s main point (backed by striking charts) is that tourism’s economic benefits have not risen while its negative social costs to residents have been rising steadily. I made the same observation in my UHERO Brief, “Sustainable Tourism Development and Overtourism,” November 15, 2017. As tourism continues to set “records”, according to HTA, the negative social costs of tourism will become more burdensome relative to tourism’s benefits.

This brief was prepared for the Hawaii Economic Association panel, Rethinking Hawaii Tourism: 21st Century Solutions for 21st Century Challenges, with Frank Haas, Paul Brewbaker and John Knox.

Revised: Posted May 16, 2018

UHERO Brief

 


Making Sense of Mandatory Resort Fees

More than 1,000 hotels in the U.S. require guests to pay a mandatory resort fee, stated as a fixed dollar amount per room per night of occupancy, in addition to the base room rate. According to the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), approximately 7% of U.S. hotels charge resort fees. Resort fees cover such services as parking, phone calls, in-room Wifi, daily bottled water, coffee maker, health club access, and so on. Included services vary from hotel to hotel. Hotels still include some services such as housekeeping, basic toiletries and television in their base room rate. By making the resort fee mandatory, a resort-fee hotel is bundling some services with the room but is disclosing a separate fee. The average resort fee in the U.S. is around $21. Resort fees generate about $2.7 billion in annual revenues to domestic hotels. The number of resort fee hotels and resort fee revenues in the U.S. are increasing rapidly.

UHERO Brief

 


Time to End the Preferential Taxation of Timeshare Occupancy?

Timeshares comprise a significant percentage of visitor accommodations in Hawaii. There are currently over 11,000 timeshare units in the state, and unlike traditional hotel accommodations, their number keeps growing. Timeshare visitors represented almost 10% of all visitor arrivals in Hawaii during the third quarter of 2017. In Hawaii timeshare owners are required to pay an occupancy tax to the State. State lawmakers want to increase the amount timeshare owners pay.

UHERO Brief

 


UHERO State Forecast Update: Not much lift from tax cuts in Hawaii’s soaring economy

Hawaii’s economy continues to grow, but with expected slowing as the cycle matures. Tourism is booming, construction remains on a healthy plateau, and jobs are plentiful. The big story this quarter is the federal tax cuts that went into effect on January 1. These will provide a modest boost for Hawaii families, who have seen little income growth in the expansion so far. Tightness in tourism and labor markets will limit the overall effect on the State’s economy.

This analysis and near-term forecast is available as a service to the public. For more detailed multi-year forecasts, subscribe to UHERO's Forecast Project.

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The Conversation: Carl Bonham on Hawaii's economic outlook

Carl Bonham appears on The Conversation to talk about the future of Hawaii's economy.

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Annual Hawaii Forecast with Asia-Pacific Outlook: Hawaii’s Long Expansion Gets Global Economic Lift

Improving global conditions provide a favorable environment for continued expansion in the Islands. Visitor arrivals are surging to record highs, and unemployment is reaching new lows. While families are benefitting from the improved employment prospects, many have yet to see significant income growth. The expansion is now well into its eighth year, and all indications are that growth will continue, if at a more subdued pace.

This executive summary is provided as a service to the public. For a complete analysis and detailed multi-year forecasts, subscribe to UHERO’s Forecast Project.

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Sustainable Tourism Development and Overtourism

Everyone agrees that tourism should be developed in a sustainable way. Yet, nearly 25 years after the term “sustainable tourism” became fashionable, sustainable tourism development remains elusive. Residents in many popular destinations around the world complain about being overwhelmed by too many tourists, or “overtourism”. The United Nations World Tourism Organization blames the problem on poor management, and not because of growing number of tourists. This brief report examines how some destinations are dealing with the problem of overtourism. The report also examines the growth of tourism in Hawaii since the late 1980s. While there are many problems in managing tourism growth in Hawaii in a sustainable way, the report concludes that Hawaii is not yet at the stage of overtourism.

UHERO Brief

 


The Conversation: Carl Bonham on the UHERO State Forecast Update

Carl Bonham appears on The Conversation to talk about the UHERO State Forecast Update: Slowing Ongoing, Despite Arrivals Boom.

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UHERO State Forecast Update: Slowing Ongoing, Despite Arrivals Boom

The Hawaii economy is decelerating. Job growth this year will come in at less than 1%, down from nearly 2% just two years ago, the consequence of a flattening construction path and the natural effects of tightening labor markets. Despite surprisingly persistent gains, even the robust tourism industry will move to a lower growth trend as capacity constraints exert themselves. Overall, growth in the number of jobs will downshift to about a half-percent per year by the end of the decade.

This analysis and near-term forecast is available as a service to the public. For more detailed multi-year forecasts, subscribe to UHERO's Forecast Project.

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Hawaii Construction Forecast: Construction Easing, But More in the Pipeline

After several years of rapid expansion, the pace of building has eased. A number of significant condo and retail projects have wrapped up on Oahu, while fewer new buildings have broken ground, resulting in an overall reduction in construction activity and employment. But statewide there remain enough new projects in the pipeline to maintain construction activity near its current level through the end of the decade.

This analysis and near-term forecast is available as a service to the public. For more detailed multi-year forecasts, subscribe to UHERO's Forecast Project.

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A New Perspective on Hawaii’s Economy: understanding the role of clusters

Clusters are regional concentrations of related industries that arise because firms can benefit from being geographically close to one another. Proximity lowers transportation costs and fosters knowledge and labor sharing. As a result, the spatial concentration of economic activity is often a defining characteristic of regions. To better understand Hawaii’s economy and prospects for growth, we document Hawaii’s economic clusters at the state and county level and make comparisons to other US counties with similar characteristics.

UHERO Report

 


HPR: Carl Bonham on Hawaii's Transient Accommodation Tax

Carl Bonham joins Hawaii Public Radio to explain why lawmakers favor Hawaii’s Transient Accommodation Tax (TAT) as a source of revenue.
For a history of the TAT, see UHERO Fellow Jim Mak's paper
How Hawaii’s State Government Shares Transient Accommodation Tax Revenues With Its Local Governments

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