Edited by: Nick Ellis
We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.
After devastating wildfires that displaced 7,000 people, West Maui will reopen to visitors on October 8, 2023. The news comes soon after the Hawaii Tourism Authority announced efforts to encourage visitors to the other parts of the island.
Here’s the latest on the Maui wildfires and the island’s reopening.
Hawaii Tourism Authority Encourages Visitors
The island of Maui saw a 70% decrease in visitors after the wildfires began on August 8, 2023. Governor Josh Green and the Hawaii Tourism Authority encouraged visitors to return to Maui earlier this month, though the town of Lahaina and the West Maui region remained closed. Even though airlines offered discounted flights and hotels cut room rates by 20%, tourists have been slow to return.
That should change on October 8, when the West Maui neighborhoods of Kā’anapali, Nāpili, Honokōwai, and Kapalua will all reopen to visitors.
Some Maui residents think it’s still too soon to welcome tourists back to the area. However, the governor and other state officials believe that hotels and resorts in the area will be forced to lay off 3,000 unionized workers if they aren’t able to reopen soon. Residents are understandably concerned about the thousands of displaced people who have been sheltering in West Maui hotels.
Director of Hawaii’s Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism James Tokioka explained that without employment, those workers would lose their health insurance. He went on to say that hotel owners simply cannot afford to lose as much money as they’ve been losing each week.
Despite the reopening of several areas of West Maui, Lahaina, the town most devastated by the recent wildfires, will continue to remain closed to the public.
Amended Water Advisory
Experts continue to caution that the deadliest wildfire in modern U.S. history has left hazardous material among the debris. Maui has amended its unsafe water advisory to remove Zone 1 and move it to the green or safe zone. The advisory that was issued on August 11, 2023, remains in effect for zones 4 and 5.
For those wishing to help, the Hawai’i Tourism Authority asks that monetary donations be made to the Maui Strong Fund created by the Hawai’i Community Foundation.Hot Tip:
Maui has experienced unprecedented wildfires that have destroyed homes and businesses and displaced thousands of residents. After weeks of rescue and recovery efforts, and despite some residents saying that it’s still too soon, West Maui will reopen to visitors on October 8, 2023, though Lahaina will remain closed to the public. If you’re able, please consider donating to the Maui Strong Fund.
Featured Image Credit: Zeke Kalua via County of Maui
Was this page helpful?
UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.