Maui wildfire poses a threat to its tourism dependent economy

Monday, September 11, 2023


Unmissable Maui sunsets for your Hawaii bucket list

Richie Olsten, for half a century, has been an important part of the helicopter tour business of Maui in Hawaii.

His wide-ranging expertise in the industry has made him to grow an uncommon yet active barometer for the economy that’s tourism- dependent, rental cars parked at the airport of the island.

But, after the recent destructive wildfires that took almost 115 lives in Lahaina, an old town with rich history on the island, currently, Olsten is immensely worried about a looming financial disaster.

The result of these wildfires has witnessed an important rise in car rentals parked at the airport which is a strong indication of a drop in tourist activities.

This slump is creating strong ripples through the economy of Maui as tour companies and restaurants have started laying off their workers and unemployment has started rising once again in an alarming rate.

On Maui, after the August 8 fire, the visitor numbers arriving have plummeted by almost 70% with everyday arrivals declining down to just 2000.

The state tourism officials, in response to this crisis, have made an extraordinary U-turn from their initial stance.

After originally requesting travelers to stay away keeping mind their safety concerns, now they are requesting them to return.

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