Published on : Friday, November 10, 2017
According to the “Maui County Tourism Industry Strategic Plan for 2017 to 2026,” the county’s economic dependence on tourism is the highest in the state, with 51 percent of jobs directly associated with tourism. Visitors spent about $4 billion in Maui County last year.
Visitors represent more than one in four people on the island on an average day. This percentage is rising as Maui continues to set annual visitor arrival records.
However, the tourism industry can give rise to negative impacts in the community as well. Residents say that the taxing of infrastructure, such as highways, and natural resources are negative impacts. There are issues with cultural authenticity and the sense of community as the industry grows.
“This strategic plan addresses the pillars of a healthy tourism economy that must be of benefit to local residents,” said Teena Rasmussen, director of the Office of Economic Development. “It also must offer authentic cultural experiences and honor our indigenous Hawaiian culture, protect and maintain a pristine environment both on the land and in the sea, require our infrastructure to be adequate and in good condition and assure that our visitors receive excellent service and be immersed in the aloha spirit.”
This is the second Tourism Strategic Plan for Maui County. The first was for 2006 to 2015. The earlier plan was mandated and funded by the Hawai’i Tourism Authority.
The new plan differs from the earlier by identifying actions to take, assigning responsibilities for implementation and offering a monitoring plan.
“Together, we created a much more accountable and action-oriented plan that will help shape our most important industry for years to come,” said Sherry Duong, executive director of the Maui Visitors Bureau. “It is important to maintain a healthy tourism economy, and our community must move forward together to protect Maui Nui’s position as a world-renowned visitor destination.”
Tags: Maui county tourism