Decisive Maui Travel Rules Released | No Mixed messages

We received new messaging from the Hawaii Tourism Authority and its Hawaii Visitor and Convention Bureau late Monday. The messaging from the governor and the state agencies regarding Maui travel has started becoming well unified. That is relieving for all concerned and moves us at least one step further along the road to healing after the devastating Maui wildfires.

West Maui will be closed to visitors through October 17.

The latest update came after President Biden and Governor Green toured Lahaina earlier today and held a press conference. The governor urges “visitors to refrain from visiting West Maui (including Lahaina, Napili, Kaanapali, and Kapalua) and shared the rest of Maui is safe.”

“Visitors Should Avoid West Maui For Now, Travelers Welcome Elsewhere On Maui and Other Hawaiian Islands”

Governor Josh Green is continuing to state emphatically the “need to avoid West Maui at this time, as well as the importance of travel to the rest of Maui and the other Hawaiian Islands and the economic impact it has on the well-being of Maui and its recovery.” We’re relieved to hear a more unified message emanating from the state.

HTA also comes into alignment with Hawaii Governor Josh Green.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority is concurring in its statement requesting “visitors to refrain from going to West Maui (including Lahaina, Nāpili, Kāʻanapali, and Kapalua) as a means of respect to the people and places that have been lost in Lahaina during this devastating tragedy. The impacted area of Lahaina remains off-limits to the public as the search and recovery efforts continue.

“No one can travel to West Maui right now.”

That means that all of West Maui is off-limits, period. Governor Green said, “We will share when that is possible again. Only returning residents and authorized emergency relief workers should come here (West Maui) now. But all of the other areas of Maui… and the rest of Hawaii are safe.

“When you come, you will support our local economy and help speed the recovery of the people that are suffering right now.”

As part of the governor’s proclamation today, “Governor Green’s sixth emergency proclamation, issued on August 19, remains in place, with “All nonessential travel to West Maui being strongly discouraged for the duration of the proclamation (through October 17, 2023).”

Hawaii’s mixed and confusing messages appear to be over.

Daniel said in a comment late Monday, “We were scheduled (and planning to go to Maui .. Kihei on the 18th from Kauai ). Meanwhile on the 17th Hawaiian Air texts us an urgent message stating that nonurgent travel to Maui is discouraged so we end up changing our plans. By the 19th the message changes and it seems only travel to West Maui is discouraged. Between the government advisories, local communities and other “advice” ( including the Canadian gvt advising travellers not to go) it’s not clear for a visitor who wants to respect the tragic losses what to do. We now regret not going and supporting local business.”

Please let us know your thoughts on the state’s plans.

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152 thoughts on “Decisive Maui Travel Rules Released | No Mixed messages”

  1. I’m sure Rob and Jeff will be posting this but the Governor announced that West Maui will be open October 8th. His press conference today was quite clear as to the reasons for when and why and certainly put into perspective how difficult the situation is. All and all I thought is was a very good response.
    Unprecedented tragedy that has been made worse by speculators and conspiracy theorist’s. The Governors plan for rebuilding, using local business’s whenever possible and rebuilding with the people of Maui at the forefront and respect for the land and Hawaiian traditions the key component. Outside speculators will be combated in every way possible. You folks trying to say you don’t feel welcome are listening to a very small majority of disgruntled people. West Maui will a very welcoming place to visit after Oct 8th, the rest of the island is now.

  2. As tragic as the fires have been and as much as I want to respect those that have, and will continue to suffer, there seems to be an overtone of anti-tourism in Hawaii these days that is getting louder and making it less desirable to visit. The instant message to “stay away” following the devastating aftermath of the Lahaina fire now seems like more of a short-sighted excuse to turn tourists away than anything else. Then, just a few weeks later, begging for people to come spend their money in spite of really not wanting them there is ridiculous. Many tourists plan for years to visit Hawaii. They save and plan for that once-in-a-lifetime vacation to a place they’ve dreamed of visiting only to be told they aren’t wanted, but we need your money so come on over, just don’t act like you are enjoying your stay. I wish I could see this differently as I really was a supporter of giving those affected time to grapple with the tragedy and I felt I understood the sentiment having been to the islands many times, including a day in Lahaina in May of this year, but I now feel like I may have been wrong.

  3. My husband and I along with another couple are scheduled to fly into Kahului on Nov.19th; our flight and rental condo have been booked since April. Though we are saddened by the Lahaina fire, we still are hoping for an enjoyable vacation. If as tourists traveling from Canada and we are not welcomed, we will certainly not return and will spend our travel dollars elsewhere.

    1. I hope things will have improved by November 19, but expecting people who lost their home to welcome you is a little much …as they say, money can’t buy love. Also, your condo is very likely owned by an off island owner and if you shop at Costco. Safeway etc., that’s not local, so if you do want your money to go to the “local” economy, be mindful and grateful that you can enjoy a vacation while others are mourning their friends and family.

  4. My family of 7 is traveling to Kihei December! I am now reading that prices will be increased soon on activities and everything in general! The prices were already doubled since my last visit shortly before covid! If this is true, we will be very limited on the activities and many things we were hoping to do on our visit!
    Could you please advise me what the situation is regarding activities and food and restaurants!
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Judy.

      We don’t know that too be true and it is too soon to know. If you’re coming at the holidays, however, yes of course you can expect very high prices as has been the case for decades.


  5. Thank you for clarifying. Myself ,wife, daughter and grandson will be visiting Kihei soon and will respect the guidelines.
    Our hearts are with all of you in your grief.

  6. Hawaii used to be the favorite destination for my wife and myself. But the government from the state to the local level made us feel unwelcome and unwanted on our last trip. Therefore it was probably our Last trip. Which is very sad, because we used to love to come.

  7. We have a 2 week trip to Papekea condos in West Maui 10/20-11/03. Will this still be a good idea or should we cancel.

    1. West Maui hotels are closed to tourists because they are housing those who lost their homes. You might not be able to get through because many don’t have phone and internet connection yet. The government is reaching out to local peoples by text messages and word of mouth …also, only Times Supermarket opened (closed Saturdays) As far as I know, everything else is still closed on the West side …as it was said many times before, tourists would only make it more difficult for locals to get food, water, getting to places ….

      1. Correction: Napili Market is now open as well. Just spoke to my friend at Kaanapali Hillside (there was another fire, but contained quickly) and she wants to remind people that everything (batteries, medicine etc.) is very limited on the West side of Maui. Also, the beaches in Kahana are taken over by tents with locals who did not get rooms in hotels etc. Don’t expect Kaanapali, Kahana and Napili to be the same than the last time you may have visited those areas. By friend describes the entire area as a “war zone” although I think she meant that it resembles the “after war” era ..she lost her home in Norther California twice in the fires which is why she moved to Maui.

  8. I sure hope Governor Green and the HTA plan to support all the businesses in West Maui that are suffering financially from being closed until 10/17/23. Those businesses barely survived the much too long closure for the pandemic. And now being closed again. Wow….

    1. It seems that some people don’t read all the information in detail …business in Lahaina burnt down to the ground. The rest of Maui is struggling with housing people who lost their homes plus volonteers etc. There is still no internet in parts of West Maui etc. How do you think they can conduct busines for tourists? If they want to fly to Maui, they can do so and stay in Kihei, Wailea etc.

      1. Many hotels have pushed it to November 1 and there is no guarantee that this will not be delayed further …it’s an “ongoing” development that can’t be rushed.

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