August 23, 2023

Maui Travel Update

Tourists wonder if traveling to Maui is safe and considerate after the devastating wildfires. After all, several local communities are still searching for missing loved ones, and the cleanup process has just begun. The tourism-dependent economy remains open, but some travel plan adjustments might be necessary.

Is Maui Open For Travel?

Most of Maui is open for tourism and leisure travel. However, West Maui is closed to visitors as the available amenities are reserved for evacuees, first responders and essential staff. It’s not possible to visit Lahaina, Nāpili, Kāʻanapali and Kapalua.

Tourists can visit these Maui destinations:
• Hāna
• Kahului
• Kīhei
• Mākena
• Pāʻia
• Wailea
• Wailuku

Additionally, the rest of Hawaii is open for tourism. Visiting another island can be a better option to avoid impeding certain parts of the island that are in the process of recovering. Further, hazardous materials can be present in the fire-affected areas, and the extent of damage is still being assessed.

Maui Flight Curtailments

Understandably, the number of flight passenger arrivals at the various Maui airports is reduced from an average of 7,000 daily arrivals to approximately 2,000. Airlines have made flight adjustments in response to the catastrophe.

For example, Hawaiian Airlines is offering travel waivers for flights to or from Maui’s Kahului Airport (OGG) from August 9, 2023, to December 15, 2023.

Passengers can contact their airline, lodging host and rental car agency to discuss travel itinerary changes. Travelers may decide to postpone travel but can donate to charitable causes to help impacted residents during this time.

Final Thoughts

Non-essential travel to West Maui is prohibited for the foreseeable future, but the rest of the island is open for tourism. While visiting an island shortly after a heartbreaking incident may seem like poor timing, the rest of Maui and the other Hawaiian islands are open and visiting can support local residents and businesses.

Copyright 2023 Forbes Media LLC. All rights reserved. From By Geoff Whitmore.

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