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197 thoughts on “Maui Travel Isn’t Recovering; Now What?”

  1. Leave us alone! It is a colosal effort for the residents to keep the west Maui community together…This really is the most important thing right now, this and to find the right political power that wont let us residents struggle in hotels for what seems to be an ethernity …Why is everything else more important but to place people in dignified housing???We were awarded a huge amount of money by Biden administration when the disaster hit last year..Now you wont provide food anymore/and people are still in hotels 9 months later…Why?What is more important? Fix your priorities! People died, and are committing suiside because of desperation.. Quit crying over lost tourism – this is not the way to threat the locals!

  2. We have visited Maui many times over the years & absolutely love spending time there. However, accommodation prices have forced us to look for alternative destinations. I wish that the prices would decrease but I doubt that is in the cards.
    So, we will cherish the memories.

  3. Which is it? We want tourists or don’t want tourist? Beautiful geography with an ugly population. My vacation dollars go towards a relaxing, welcoming place- not Hawaii.

    1. If you think that Hawaii has an ugly population, you obviously should not come to Maui. The people are one of main reasons why I moved to Hawaii in the 1st place. Most are friendly, welcoming, relaxed, yet efficient and customer oriented. It’s the attitude of “some” tourists who feel entitled just because they have some money to spend that makes the Aloha spirit harder to practice.

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      1. As you said Eva, one of the things that make Hawaii so special is the people. The Hawaiians introduced the world to the Aloha spirit. It’s still there. But it does get tested. Sadly, the Internet has given power to people to spew hate. Someone sitting at a computer attacking the people of Hawaii when they are suffering defines them, not Hawaiians. The reality is there is a lot of Aloha to be found in Maui and a lot of good people doing a lot of good things. The numerous comments about how appreciated travelers felt when they were in Maui is the norm. Not the few people that feel they have to bash Hawaiians from their computer.

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      2. It takes 2 to tango. There is good and bad in all groups.
        Although my first, very short, visit to Hawaii was in 1965, I didn’t start coming regularly until the mid/late 1970s.

        I can count one 1 hand any problems I’ve had here. Actually, I can count them on 1 finger. A local tried to make me regret enjoying Pali Lookout. That’s it. One incident in over 40 years – not too bad.

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  4. We were booked in January, cancelled and instead we are going to Hawaii. Now I feel bad but airfares and rooms have not gotten any cheaper. Actually airfares are up.

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  5. Hotels that aren’t three times the price o tourist destinations on the mainland for a comparable room might be something to consider. Not everybody wants to pay $800 a night. Lots of choices out there.

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  6. Eva B: Lose Lose because that is such a huge hotel. It is closed to Holiday Guests that spend $$, the people who work there are laid off. No income, no tips. People who stay there go to other places in Kaanapali to eat, shop and spend money, but they cannot do that because they are closed to Holiday Guests. While the Hotel is doing a good thing for displaced people, they get the government money for the Fema and Red Cross people, but that doesn’t help the local economy – only Corporate.

  7. Aloha,our family of 6 traveled to Maui on Sept 4th for a week.We stayed in Keihi.We felt nervous at first yet that nervousness quickly went away.We felt very welcomed.We all would return tomorrow if feasible.I believe the best way to get tourism up and running is to lower airfare, accommodations, and excursions. It’s just to expensive.

  8. Originally was going to Orlando for Thanksgiving but we decided to go to Maui instead. We just booked airfare for that week to help the tourism economy and volunteer. The airfare was as high as it usually is for that time of year and the condo prices in Kihei have not come down from what I have observed.

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  9. You can’t expect a recovery until Kaanapali Beach is open. South Maui condos are not giving huge discounts but if only half the island is open, that’s what would be needed. Also, even after October 8, if the resentment remains, people will stay away. It still is not cheap, so why go where you are not wanted?

    1. Mike, read PatG’s post. That’s the reality of the situation from someone on Maui. A lot of people from 1000’s of miles away are sending vitriol towards Hawaii via social media. Consider the source….why would you want their perspective? It says more about them than it does anything about Hawaii.
      There’s a lot of Aloha on Maui right now.

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      1. John W: My sister is an owner at the Residence Club (timeshare) that is attached to the Hyatt. They opened on Saturday the 16. She is on Oahu and is to come to Maui on Saturday, but now rethinking. She has her entire family with her and they were to stay there for 7 nites. She got an email yesterday, that they have had to close the pools at the Residence Club because the displaced persons staying at the Hyatt are yelling off their balconys at the visitors vacationing with rude and threatening remarks. We were to come on 10/28 so now I don’t know what to do.

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        1. That is unacceptable behavior, and IMO shouldn’t have been handled the way it was. Anyone acting in a threatening manner towards guests in a hotel should be made to leave, displaced or not displaced, FEMA or no FEMA.

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        2. Gloria,

          This is a hard call. But, staying away and the resort closing the pool is the wrong approach. The resort needs to give warnings to the locally displaced persons that they will be removed if they act improperly. They should be subject to the same rules as timeshare owners and other guests.

          To ignore their behavior is to encourage their behavior. Everyone is sorry, very sorry about the losses on Maui, but their behavior is not that of mourners, rather behavior of bullies. And, bullies have to be disciplined.

          We are vacationing at our former timeshare in Waikiki. Everything seems so normal here.

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          1. Rod: I couldn’t agree more. It was wrong for the Hyatt to place those people in that one tower where they could see the pools – and it is wrong that the next property over – Marriott is completely open with their pools (same company) because no one can see them. Yes we are all sorry. But again, if this wasn’t a resort town the people would stay in other places. When California burned this didn’t happen. Owners at the Timeshare have paid their dues and now their expected vacation isn’t what they are paying for. It would be better to completely close the place and say you just can’t come – we’ll give you a different week – no harm no foul. Hyatt continues to send emails to all of us asking for donations for their specific employees.

        3. Sorry Gloria, I’m a bit skeptical about an anecdote about one incident when there are so many stories that contradict that. If it happened it was an isolated incident….there are people out there doing stupid things for sure and the amount of stress so many are under doesn’t help. But there’s a lot of Aloha to be found in Maui right now, it truly needs it. It doesn’t need the finger pointing right now.

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          1. John W: Not saying that – simply saying that last week the Hyatt told my sister to come – the pools would be open, the bars would be open, etc. Now they are there and they are closing the pools – no one can enjoy what they have paid for because of this. They should should move the people to where they can’t see people in the pools. It is only 1 tower that can see them – it is a big hotel. It isn’t like you can get your fees or you money back. She came because they said all would be fine.

  10. The frustrating thing for me as a South Maui resident is that the messaging online is completely different, almost opposite, of the way things really are here. Post after post alternates between people talking about the antisocial vibe they are getting online, vs. posts from people who have actually visited lately and have experienced friendly, grateful residents and had the time of their lives. I can also tell you talking to people every day that the latter is the way it really is, at least in South Maui.

    I suggest you close your computers and not read the nonsense online (except BOH, of course!). If you are thinking of coming, just come, I promise you won’t be disappointed!

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    1. Pat, I guess it stands to reason that anyone who feels the need to sit home and take potshots at the “locals” when Lahaina has suffered so much is really not someone who has the best insight about Hawaii.
      Perhaps they should ask themselves why they have that perception when so many have an entirely different experience.

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    2. I live at Kaanapali Hillside full time and work all around the island. As of last week, most resorts near Whaler’s Village (Kaanapali) were still closed and locals who lost their homes installed tents, signs of protest and Hawaiian flags all along the beach, so No, it’s Not like before! Sorry!

  11. There are so many mixed messages about coming back to Maui right now. I think it is best for us to stay away. I understand. There are already some protest about West Maui opening up in October. Maui is already very expensive and vacationing is expensive. I don’t want to feel obligated to overpay for anything due to the devastation. I am like most Americans and work hard for my vacation money, and it is limited to not spend on an extravagant vacation. I feel sorry for the people and I know they need tourism for their economy. A lot of people feel it’s too much of an emotional time to visit the people and want to let them heal and get back to normal.

    1. Well that’s one of the issues, how can the people in Maui return to normal if tourists do stay away? Tourists staying away will lead to more Maui workers being laid off, working less hours, receiving less tips, going into further debt, making it even harder for the working class to make ends meet. Yes, agree on too many mixed messages and the new message of “mindful” travelers is probably turning off a lot of potential tourists.

      Those that have recently traveled to Maui, including West Maui have shared only warm greetings and heartfelt thanks, from the workers, for visiting.

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      1. Ben: You are right and very hard to visit. The Hyatt Regency is housing Red Cross, Fema and Residents. Not sure why the Jewel of Kaanapali is housing Red Cross and Fema and not letting guests stay, but their plan was to open on 9/16 and now closed until 10/28. People are thinking with their emotions and not their brains. The person that I spoke to yesterday at the Hyatt said “what they are doing is a Lose Lose scenario”. Too Sad

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        1. I don’t understand how someone can call it it a “lose lose scenario” when a hotel like the Hyatt Regency in Kaanapali decides to house those that lost their homes vs tourists sipping cocktails. They also house people working at FEMA, the Red Cross etc. and they do get paid. Many locals gave the Hyatt thumbs up for being the 1st hotel giving them temporary housing. I would highly recommend that resort over others to friends and family in the future.

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          1. Eva, I think the person at the Hyatt who called it a lose lose scenario was referring to what those staying in the tower were doing. People who are staying there have already lost their homes; by being rude to tourists who are swimming in a pool at the adjacent property, they’re adding to the problem of tourists not returning to the island. This will certainly cause more losses when local workers lose their jobs because the tourists aren’t coming, and when local businesses that depend on tourists don’t have any customers. It’s a sad situation all around, and definitely unique. I don’t remember this happening in New York City when the World Trade Center towers were lost.

  12. Our family returned last week from Vacationing in Maui.I must admit we felt nervous at first.There was no reason to feel that way. We all felt welcomed.We all had a nice vacation.We stayed at a lovely resort in Keihi. I urge people to travel there.

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  13. We’ve been visiting Maui in early December nearly every year since our 20th anniversary in 1998. Flight prices have always fluctuated. This year, we thought prices would be a little less expensive, so I was surprised to see that prices were about the same (or higher) than we are used to paying. It makes sense, though. If airlines are reducing the number of flights, those flights will be fuller, which will drive up prices. We looked at prices the end of July, and decided to wait. We just booked last week, and the flight is about $100 more than it was 2 months ago.

  14. We had booked for Kaanapali Hyatt late October way back at the start of the year. After the fires we hesitated coming, but after a few weeks heard that there was a desire to have the tourist economy come back.

    However, our hotel shut down without notice on September 15, canceling our reservation with no support. We looked at every week in 2024 but the hotels have decided the increased demand due to their own cancellation has justified in increasing prices by 50% or more!!

    So we no longer can afford Maui and are going to look for another island. In the meantime, we’ll plan to continue donating to local verified nonprofits supporting getting families supported and back into their homes.

    1. LMG: Did they not reschedule you for the week beginning October 28 when they reopen? BTW, this is new and just happened because this message wasn’t on their website last week?

      1. Nope, no offer and central reservations couldn’t help either. It’s brand new—woke up to cancellation on Friday without any messaging why. By the weekend they had updated their website and sent out a message.

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        1. LMG Stupid and Sad all at the same time. I specifically spoke to the Residence Club (timeshare next door) and was told – 9/15 was opening day for both and to come. Residence Club is open and taking guests – you might be able to get a great deal.

  15. Mixed messages keep coming. Now you have a petition with over 4000 signatures, asking the Governor of Hawaii to delay reopening of West Maui to tourists.

    A small vocal minority, against tourism, will collectively punish the tens of thousands of local residents that depend on tourism and that want the tourist to return.

    Doesn’t help to put out messages that you only want a certain kind of tourist.

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    1. I agree 100% Ben. The vocal locals are wreaking havoc on tourism – and it had started long before the Lahaina fire as is evidenced by the ongoing battles over Hawaiian government travel promotion. This is just the latest tool they’re using to discourage anyone from visiting the islands.

      It’s unsettling and sad to see the level of vitriol directed at visitors from the mainland on social media. Our family has been visiting the four largest islands of Hawaii for over 25 years and have always been treated incredibly well by the people we’ve met. One of our daughters and her husband live on Maui; we have an extra special connection to it now. I’d hate to think we couldn’t come to visit our family there.

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