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Maui Leads the State in Short Term Rental Options

Maui Vacation Rentals Soas

Via the 2017 Visitor Plant Inventory report completed by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the total number of visitor accommodation options increased to 80,336 units statewide. The 1.6% increase from 2016 marks the largest number of  visitor accommodation units ever seen in Hawaii.

The biggest growth in visitor accommodations units was the vacation rentals sector where it saw a 3.9% jump to 12,659 in total. Vacation rentals are popular among those who can afford it because it can generate cash flow while not being used by the owners and the returns can be quite appealing if rented right.

Our vacation rentable Kihei Akahi unit C213

Maui specifically leads the way in available short term rental units. In total, Maui has the largest inventory of vacation rentable units where it represents 30.5% of the share across all of Hawaii.

Short term rentals aren’t necessarily bad because having alternative accommodations to hotels gives more options to travelers looking for accommodations. With the increased supply in the marketplace, the allure of future development from the large corporate hospitality companies are reduced because of the increased competition.

The overall number of accommodations options on Maui is 21,250 units. Hotel rooms are still the dominant player among lodging options with 36.4% of the total supply, while vacation rental units accounted for just over a quarter of available options.

Vacation rentable Sugar Beach PH34

As expected, it is the regions on Maui geared towards accommodating visitors that make up the bulk of the market. It is these “luxury” markets of Wailea, Lahaina, Kaanapali, Napili, and Kapalua that represent 80% of the entire supply on Maui.

According to Jennifer Chun, HTA Director of Tourism Research, “The report shows that Hawaii has an effective mix of accommodation offerings that is meeting the lodging interests of travelers coming from around the world. From the properties that we can survey and assess, overall growth in 2017 was modest highlighted by increases in the supply of hotel rooms and timeshare units.”

Total is Uncertain 

Excerpt from the exact report

Part of the Visitor Plant Inventory report analyzes the units in use by sites like VRBO or AIrbnb. The utilization of these type of sites by condo owners make it hard to accurately account for the number of units being ran through these type of sites because it is hard to obtain accurate information.

On Maui, it is estimated there are over 13,000 units that are individually advertised on site similar to Airbnb and VRBO.

Chun commented, “The current survey methodology used for the Visitor Plant Inventory is insufficient with regards to vacation rentals because individually advertised units do not have identifying information.”

Contact a Maui Real Estate and Lifestyle Specialist

Please interview me to be your trusted Maui Real Estate and Lifestyle Advisor. I was born and raised on the island, and spend a considerable amount of time to inform my clients about the best deals currently on the market. Please do not hesitate to call me for your Maui real estate needs. I am more than happy to assist you in your home search.


Anthony Sayles R(S)

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