Hawaii wildfires compel tourists to leave Maui

Friday, August 11, 2023


Maui wildfires

The Maui wildfires, which resulted in multiple fatalities and significant damage to the historic area of Lahaina, may have long-term implications on the island’s tourism industry, which contributes significantly  to its economy.

Local officials have urged visitors who are on Maui for non-essential travel to leave and have strongly discouraged further visits to the Island during this time of crisis.

According to figures by the Maui Economic Development Board, the “visitor industry” on the island contributes directly or indirectly to almost 80% of its total earnings.

The deadly wildfires have already destroyed the old Lahaina town and taken the lives of at least 36 people, also leading to closing of numerous roads, and there are still ongoing evacuations.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority is urging visitors who are currently on the island of Maui to leave while the Kahului airport is still open.

Additionally, people who have immediate travel plans to Maui are urged to change their schedules.

This request aims to guarantee that resources and efforts are focused on supporting the neighborhood at this crucial time.

According to Hawaii Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke’s statement, state authorities were working closely with hotels and a local airline to try to relocate guests to another island.

However, their attempts to contact everyone affected have been hampered by the disruption in communication systems.

Hawaiian Airlines has added three extra late-night flights to Honolulu from Maui’s to help with the evacuation of travellers affected by the flames.

The airline also announced the addition of six additional flights earlier in the day and plans to add four more flights on Thursday from Maui to Honolulu.

In the days and weeks ahead, our collective resources and attention must be focused on the recovery of residents and communities that were forced to abandon their homes and businesses, Hawai’i Tourism Authority said in a statement.

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