Has your consumer demographic changed in recent years?
At the very beginning, we catered to many Japanese tourists. By the mid ’80s, it decreased to 25 percent market share.
Today, Japanese tourists account for about 15 percent of our guests. Our main market is North America—mainly the U.S. West Coast—which accounts for about 75 percent of the market. As a beachfront boutique hotel located at the foot of Diamond Head, across from Kapi‘olani Park and on the quiet side of Waikiki, we attract guests who are looking for a sense of place that’s green and quiet.
In what ways has The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel met the growing demand for experiential, eco-conscious, adventure and/or slow travel?
The unique experience at The New Otani Kaimana Beach is its boutique size, the quality of service delivered by our dedicated employees and its location on the beach removed from, but within walking distance to, the hustle and bustle of Waikiki. We create surf packages for the more adventurous guests, and we have eco-friendly initiatives to reduce water and energy use. We also have a recycling program, and all of our cleaning products are non-chemical.
Have alternative accommodation services like Airbnb affected business?
Yes, the fast-growing Airbnb has made and continues to make an impact on traditional hotels, from budget to economy to even luxury hotels. Younger generations are very attracted to this price-driven service.
What trends and industry dynamics have you observed over the course of your career in hotel management?
Major changes include the Internet revolution and new tech companies that have transformed the way we do business.
Online travel agencies and companies like TripAdvisor, Airbnb, Uber and OpenTable have transformed the hospitality industry.
Customers nowadays are super connected, and travel decisions are a click away.