HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii has about four times as many vacation rentals for travelers than the state's tourism agency previously believed.
A new study indicates there are about 26,500 houses and condominiums being rented on a short-term basis around the state, Hawaii Tourism Authority Vice President David Uchiyama said. That compares with about 6,900 the agency was aware of previously.
The figures come from a new agency study. The tourism authority is still finalizing the numbers and isn't ready to release the report to the public, but Uchiyama shared the figures at a conference for industry professionals in Honolulu on Thursday.
Uchiyama said there's a lot of growth happening in the area and it's something of which the tourism industry needs to be aware.
By county, the new data show there were 4,478 units on Oahu last year compared with 555 known previously. For Maui County, the new figure is 11,166 compared with 3,342 before.
Joseph Toy, CEO of Hospitality Advisors, said vacation rental, bed-and-breakfast and time-share accommodations have been growing rapidly over the past 10 years. Many visitors have come to Hawaii repeatedly and find they don't want to stay in hotels as they become familiar with the islands, he said. People are also looking for more unique experiences.