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In the wake of the tragedy in Lahaina, Maui, you may be wondering, if you can visit Maui right now. With West Maui currently off-limits, there’s a lot to consider. This article will provide clear and up-to-date information on navigating travel plans to the island amidst the ongoing circumstances.

Keep reading for some essential tips you won’t want to miss out on!

Key Takeaways of is Maui Open for Travel

  • West Maui is off-limits until further notice due to the recovery efforts, but other areas of Maui are open for travel.
  • Supporting local businesses and volunteering to help the community can make a positive impact during your visit.

Governor Josh Green said in a statement,No one can travel to West Maui right now. We will share when that is possible again. Only returning residents and authorized emergency relief workers should come here now. But all of the other areas of Maui… and the rest of Hawaiii are safe.” Green went on to state,“When you come, you will support our local economy and help speed the recovery of the people that are suffering right now.”

The Effects of Tourism Stopping on Maui

Tourism stopping on Maui hurts the local economy. Four out of every five dollars are made from tourism. The fire in Lahaina led many to cancel trips. This halt in visiting hurt people trying to earn a living.

Many places like Kihei depend on visitors coming and spending money. With no tourists, businesses are struggling to keep going.

After Governor Green’s press conference, The Hawaii Tourism Authority updated its travel advisory.

In alignment with Governor Green, the Hawai’i Tourism Authority urges visitors to refrain from going to West Maui (including Lahaina, Nāpili, Kāʻanapali, and Kapalua) as a means of respect to the people and places that have been lost in Lahaina during this devastating tragedy. The impacted area of Lahaina remains off limits to the public as the search and recovery efforts continue. We encourage travelers to consider visiting other areas of Maui (including Kahului, Wailuku, Kīhei, Wailea, Mākena, Pāʻia and Hāna), as well as the other Hawaiian Islands of Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Lānaʻi, Molokaʻi and Hawaiʻi Island.

Even when traveling to West Maui again is safe, that part of the island will have limited resources.

Impact on Travel to the Rest of Hawaii

Travel to the rest of Hawaii is still safe. The Big Island had some fires, but they were put out fast. Other islands like Kauai and Oahu have no issues.

lahaina maui

Guidelines for Traveling to Maui

  • Help Maui’s community by supporting local businesses, volunteering, and donating to organizations like the Maui Food Bank.
  • Respect the culture and environment by learning about Hawaiian traditions and taking care of the island’s natural resources.
  • Educate yourself before your trip to understand any specific guidelines or restrictions in place for visitors.
  • Prioritize accommodations that have implemented protocols for a responsible travel experience.

Kokua (Help) Maui’s Community

Hawaii Community Foundation is a program that is working to provide support and assistance to the people of Maui who have been affected by the recent disaster. They are helping to get supplies to those in need and ensure that everyone on Maui has what they need during this difficult time.

This program is an important resource for the residents of Maui, as it provides them with much-needed help and support as they work to rebuild their lives and communities. Volunteers and organizations are coming together to assist those who have been directly affected by the disaster.

Their efforts are positively impacting the recovery process and helping the people of Lahaina.

Respecting the Culture and Environment

While visiting Maui, respecting the local culture and environment is important. The people of Maui have a deep connection to their Hawaiian heritage, so it’s essential to be mindful and appreciative of their customs and traditions.

Before your trip, take the time to educate yourself about the local culture, so you can better understand and respect their way of life. Additionally, make an effort to support local businesses that celebrate and preserve Hawaiian traditions.

In terms of the environment, remember that Maui is known for its stunning natural beauty. It’s crucial to be responsible when exploring the island’s ecosystems. Follow designated trails and paths while hiking or biking, as venturing off-trail can harm fragile plant life.

RELATED PODCAST: 5 Ways to Show Respect for the Island’s Culture and People

Educating Yourself Before Your Trip

Before embarking on your trip to Maui, it is important to educate yourself about the island’s current situation and guidelines. Here are some key points to consider: 

  • Familiarize yourself with the current travel restrictions and guidelines in place for Maui. Keep in mind that West Maui is off-limits to non-essential travel until at least October 17th, 2023, while other areas of the island like Wailea, Kihei, Paia, Hana, and parts of upcountry Maui are open for visitors.
  • Understand the impact of the recent fire on Maui’s economy and livelihoods. Tourism is vital to the island’s local economy, accounting for an estimated four out of every five dollars made on Maui. The fire has raised concerns about the financial well-being of those who rely on tourism to earn a living.
  • Research ways you can support Maui’s community during your visit. Consider donating to organizations such as the Maui Strong Fund or the Maui Food Bank, which are helping rebuild and provide assistance to those affected by the fire. Supporting local businesses is also crucial for revitalizing the local economy.
  • Stay informed about any updates or changes regarding travel to Maui. Monitor websites or official channels for information from local authorities or tourist boards. While planning your itinerary, consider reaching out to local organizations like the Maui United Way or the Hawaii Community Foundation for suggestions on volunteer opportunities during your visit. 

Supporting Local Businesses

Supporting local businesses is crucial for the recovery and resilience of Maui’s economy. With tourism being a major source of income, many small businesses have been severely impacted by the recent events.

By purchasing products from local stores and dining at nearby restaurants, food trucks, and eateries, we can help these businesses stay afloat. Donating to organizations like the Hawaii Community Foundation’s “Maui Strong” fund also provides much-needed support to affected communities and helps local families in need.

Together, we can make a difference and contribute to the revitalization of Maui’s economy while enjoying all that this beautiful island has to offer.

RELATED PODCAST: Supporting Lahaina’s Art Community

Wrap Up for Is it OK to Go to Maui

While West Maui is currently off-limits to visitors, the rest of Maui is open for travel. It’s important to support the local community and businesses during these challenging times by rescheduling trips instead of canceling them outright.

By following guidelines, respecting the culture and environment, and volunteering to help those in need, travelers can contribute to rebuilding and supporting the island of Maui.

FAQs for Is it OK to Travel to Maui, Hawaii

1. Is it possible to visit Maui right now?

You can go to Maui right now, but West Maui is currently off-limits due to the recovery efforts in Lahaina.

2. Can I still come to other parts of Hawaii Island besides West Maui?

You sure can! You have options beyond West Maui; you can travel and see other islands of Hawaii, too.

3. How are the people on Maui doing after the fires?

The island of Maui was hit hard, but with support from everyone, they’re slowly recovering. Many donated money and time for fast help when needed most – that’s aloha in action!

4. What will happen if tourism drops due to changes in visiting schedules on the island of Maui?

Tourism is vital for the economy and people on this island. If there’s less tourism, it’ll hurt everybody living there much more than just losing out money-wise.

5. How can I support Maui and the local community?

There are several ways to support Maui and the local community. You can consider donating to local organizations, shopping at local businesses, participating in community initiatives, or volunteering your time and skills.

Bryan Murphy

Bryan Murphy

Bryan Murphy, owner of Hawaii’s Best Travel, is a certified Hawaii destination expert from the Hawaii Visitors Bureau. He actively participates in the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau as a member and has a strong educational background focused on local culture and sustainability. As the host of “Hawaii’s Best Travel,” a top-30 US travel podcast, Bryan combines his years of experience with valuable insights. He connects with a broad online community, reaching nearly half a million people, and offers a richer, more responsible way to experience Hawaii.