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From TravelTech, July 23, 2018 (excerpt) 


In 1989, the City & County of Honolulu stopped issuing permits, or Non-Conforming Use Certificates (“NUCs”), for short-term rentals located outside of resort-zoned areas. At that time, there were 2,376 NUCs on O‘ahu. Over the ensuing 29 years, Alternative Accommodations have become a popular and attractive accommodation type for travelers around the world and in Hawai‘i. However, many of those NUCs have lapsed over this same period and today there are only 659.

To gain an understanding of the potential economic impact of such regulation, TravelTech has asked K&S to estimate the 2017 economic impact of Alternative Accommodations on the Island of O‘ahu, including those that are located outside of resort-zoned areas and lack an NUC. TravelTech and its booking platform members are interested in understanding the potential economic impact of new regulation on Alternative Accommodations on O‘ahu. Two of the booking platforms, Airbnb and HomeAway, provided data on their O‘ahu operations to K&S. In addition to data on the number of active listings on O‘ahu, they provided internal data on important metrics such as average party size and average length of stay.

Executive Summary

Alternative Accommodations on O‘ahu are a key component of O‘ahu’s tourism infrastructure, used by about one of every seven visitors to O‘ahu in 2017. O‘ahu visitors using Alternative Accommodations spent more than $1.1 billion in 2017. When economic multipliers are applied, this $1.1 billion in direct visitor spending results in the following economic impacts:

• $2.0 billion in total spending,

• $564 million in total household income,

• $129 million in state taxes,

• 12,000 total jobs.

K&S estimated that about 60% of O‘ahu’s Alternative Accommodations lack an NUC and are located outside of areas zoned for short-term rental. An estimated $659 million in direct visitor spending would therefore be put at risk if these Alternative Accommodations were eliminated. When economic multipliers are applied, the following economic impact would be at risk if 60% of O‘ahu’s Alternative Accommodation inventory were eliminated:

•$1.2 billion in total spending,

• $336 million in total household income,

• $77 million in state taxes,

• 7,000 total jobs.

A drastic reduction in the supply of Alternative Accommodations on O‘ahu would therefore have a substantial negative impact on visitor spending on O‘ahu, as well as household income, state taxes, employment and air lift.


PBN: New report says Airbnb, HomeAway users spent $1.1 billion on Oahu in 2017


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