Valley Isle Voices invite visitors to Mālama Maui.
MAUI – “Pack your patience and grace.” “Do not enter the impacted area of Lahaina Town or take photos of the area, even from afar.” “Support local businesses.” These are some of the messages continually being shared by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA), as one of the main questions being asked by visitors is how they can support the people of Maui in its recovery.
In coordination with various community members and partners, HTA is launching new videos featuring a diverse cross-section of Maui residents welcoming mindful visitation and sharing how visitors can mālama Maui. In addition, Governor Josh Green, M.D.’s Office of Wellness and Resilience, HTA and County of Maui have partnered to create informational flyers and screen signage with tips for respectful, compassionate and responsible travel to support the community’s healing. These resources are being distributed broadly to visitors, airlines, accommodations, rental car companies, shops, restaurants, tour operators and other businesses.
The County of Maui has also launched the MauiNuiFirst.com website with listings of local businesses and events that visitors can support.
“Heeding the community’s guidance, HTA and our partners are educating travelers before and after they arrive with clear-cut ways they can support Maui by visiting with respect and compassion,” said Daniel Nāho‘opi‘i, HTA’s Interim President and CEO. “We are working to ensure they understand the current situation and that their travel experience may be slightly different than what they are accustomed to.”
Nāho‘opi‘i added, “We appreciate these community members who have stepped up to share their heartfelt messages conveying appreciation for the outpouring of support being received for Maui and how responsible, intentional travel can help the island’s recovery.”
Pre-Arrival Video Messages from Maui
Geared toward visitors who are considering and planning their trips to the Hawaiian Islands, HTA and its Hawai‘i Tourism United States (HTUSA) team has produced a series of video messages centered around the voices of kupa ʻāina – the people of Maui. Their messages complement the Mālama Maui videos highlighting various ways to support the community by visiting areas throughout the island that are welcoming travel.
As of September 19, eight messages from the following Maui residents have been posted, and will continue to be posted, in the coming weeks, via HTA and @GoHawaii on Instagram and on the Global Marketing Team’s social media accounts in Canada, Oceania (Australia and Aotearoa), Japan, Korea and China with subtitles in the respective market languages.
Tali Silifaiva, Director of Recreation, Fairmont Kea Lani
Kumu Luana Kawaʻa
Taylor Ponte, Owner & Chef, Kamado Private Chef and Events
Shay Smith, Founder & CEO, OCEAN Organic Farm & Distillery
Kalei ‘Uwēko‘olani, Cultural Programming Manager Leadership Educator, Grand Wailea Maui, A Waldorf Astoria Resort & Hoʻolei Villas at Grand Wailea
Kiakona Ordonez, Flight Attendant, Videographer and Photographer, Hawaiian Airlines
Wendy Tuivaioge, Director of Hawaiian Programs, Four Seasons Resort Maui
Kumu Hula Cody Pueo Pata
Post-Arrival Mālama Maui Video
As visitors arrive, a distinguished cross-section of Maui kama‘āina (residents) and kānaka maoli (Native Hawaiians) are sharing ways they can care for the Valley Isle in a newly released Mālama Maui video. Featuring the following Maui voices, the video is being targeted to visitors on-island via @GoHawaii and shared by HTA, Kilohana by the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement and HTA’s Global Marketing Team. Three shorter videos will be released in the coming weeks.
Makalapua Kanuha, Director of Culture, The Royal Lahaina Resort & Bungalows
Kau‘i Kanaka‘ole, Kumu Hula/Executive Director of Ala Kukui
Kimi Werner, Free Diver/Champion Spear Fisher
Amy Hānaiali‘i, Singer/Songwriter
Kai Lenny, Professional Waterman
Chef Sheldon Simeon, Chef/Owner Tin Roof Restaurant & Tiffany’s Maui
Brit Alejo-Fishell, Owner Haku Maui
Royal Lahaina Resort & Bungalows Cultural Director Makalapua Kanuha lost her home in the August 8 wildfires, and like others from Lahaina, she is sheltering at a hotel in Kā‘anapali. Kanuha still encourages all to visit Maui to support local businesses in order to avoid an economic disaster on the Valley Isle.
“It is so important to support our local businesses,” said Kanuha. “They are a part of our community. They are a part of Maui […] and they in turn support the livelihood of our people so it’s very important that we support our small businesses, the mom and pop shops, and that helps to support our families in Lahaina as well.”
The video was produced by HTA and its Kilohana by the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement team with the collaboration of Alaska Airlines, HAWAI‘I Magazine, Hawaiian Airlines, Mana Up, and Maui Divers Jewelry. Maui creatives were also employed to help produce the video, including cinematographers Chris Cabotage and Ryota Komai, and musician/producer Matt Kuali‘i who composed the Hawaiian soundtrack.
Compassionate Travel Flyers and Graphics
The Govenor’s Office of Wellness and Resilience, HTA and the County of Maui have partnered and produced informational flyers and graphics for display screens geared toward visitors with the following tips for respectful, compassionate and responsible travel. This inter-agency collaboration follows the leadership and guidance of Governor Green and Mayor Bissen who continue to emphasize mental health support for Maui disaster survivors.
The travel tips include:
Make sure you’ve packed two things on a trip: patience and grace. Expect to wait for longer than you’re used to for food or other services.
Support local businesses. Your visit will support Maui businesses that rely on tourism for their families’ livelihood. Visit MauiNuiFirst.com for various ways to eat, shop, play, stay and support local.
Hosting uninvited volunteers in direct recovery work may be difficult at this time. Visit MauiNuiStrong.info for efforts welcoming volunteers and contributions.
Do not enter Lahaina Town or take photos of the area, even from afar. The area is restricted because conditions can be hazardous to your health. Respect the privacy of survivors and the dignity of those who lost their lives.
Do not ask about a resident’s personal experience with the disaster. While a question such as “Were you impacted by the fire?” may be intended to be supportive, many survivors are not ready to share their experiences with others.
If you come across a memorial service or other private gathering, leave the area immediately. Respect the gathered survivors and residents – do not take photos or videos.
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.
She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.