West Maui Reopening With Harsh Prospects, 3% Occupancy

Maui Turmoil: Mayor’s Contentious “Junket” Amid Rental Cuts, Fire Mishandling

Mayor Bissen’s Japan trip stands in stark contrast to harsh measures planned for the Maui vacation rental market. It paints a picture of an administration that appears out of touch with the needs of residents and visitors. And the proposed 50% reduction in Maui vacation rentals over the next 18 months is a drastic and potentially disruptive change in the Maui tourism landscape.

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87 thoughts on “Maui Turmoil: Mayor’s Contentious “Junket” Amid Rental Cuts, Fire Mishandling”

  1. Some of the largest hotels on the islands are reputed to have owners who reside in Japan or are Japanese. It’s a big “dance of the 7 veils” starring the Mayor and County Council. The real agenda here, and it should not be a surprise, is that the Japanese Foreign Ministry is gladly paying for the Mayor’s junket. They protect their own, their owners of Hawaiian hotels, and they are out to support the Mayor’s plan to ban and crush short term Vacation rentals to protect the owners of those large hotels. Just another form of “pay-to-play” corruption.

  2. Speaking as a visitor. I am not return to Hawaii because the Hawaiian citizens do not want me there. It has been made clear straight from several Hawaiians on the main land and during our last visit. In Maui, Kaui, the Big island and in Honolulu. I could care less about a trip of a politician. I will not spend my vacation amoung people who speak behind
    My back and perceive me as some kind of threat. If visitors do not come THAT is why. I will go elsewhere and spend a hell of a lot less. Its a shame because the land/ocean is beautiful.

    1. Thank you for highlighting that the reason people are not coming to Maui is because they feel unwelcome. It’s really necessary to reinforce this fact, because the officials and much of the media (not BOH) is blaming it on the fires. That reason is no longer valid, and hasn’t been for several months.

  3. Troy, You are absolutely right. In years past, the poor governance was swept under the rug. Now social media from a few locals who can’t accept that Hawaiians voted to join the U.S. and Bissen’s grandstanding tore up the rug – and da bugs are scattering

  4. Your articles have been my views exactly. From the mayors messaging for tourist to stay away and now the reduction on vacation rental it’s killing our small business that is almost broke, and get this, we are a thrift store. I’m a senior and don’t have many employment options if we close.

    1. Annette, I am so sorry your store is suffering. It’s a spill-over effect. Less tourists = less dollars for our economy and less dollars for locals to spend. Amazing that one selfish and wreckless politician can do so much damage.

    2. Annette,
      I am sorry you’re going through this! We all barely made it through the Covid shut down and now this. We’re all fearful of losing our homes, businesses and jobs. Very few Hawaiians are even 1/4. Who are they callings locals? Ones born here? Many of us have lived her and contributed for decades. We will fight this🙏

  5. The Mayor has also not addressed vagrants living by the side of the road Kahului Harbor. These are not Lahaina displaced fire victims, they are bums. They are creating a trash line in the harbor waters affecting reef and sea life. Not to mention they are the Maui welcoming committee for cruise ships which will affect local economy when they quite coming.

    1. We visit Kauai every year, two weeks at a time, and have done so for the last eight years. Normally we might hear one ambulance siren in that two week period. On our most recent trip to Kauai in 2023 we heard sirens almost every day. I asked a local resident what that was about. They explained that California has been “sending” some of their homeless to Kauai and most likely the ambulance calls were drug overdoses. Sad situation for all involved.

    2. I agree, my recent trip on West side, noticed vagrants living on K. Beach and indeed were not displaces residents. It should not be allowed. I personally do not like the cruise ships coming. As I am not for anything that is taking away green and seascapes these days, that includes food trucks everywhere.


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