Last Updated on August 22, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes
Title: Maui Encourages Tourism Amid Wildfires, Local Businesses Struggling to Survive
Maui, HI – In the face of recent devastating wildfires in Lahaina, boat captain and dive tour operator, Javier Cantellops, is urging people to visit Maui and support the island’s tourism industry. Despite concerns and calls to stay away from the island, local business owners argue that such messages are inappropriate and causing significant harm to small businesses. With canceled bookings skyrocketing, the impact is being felt not only by Cantellops but also by other sectors such as restaurants, farmers, and activity operators, hindering their ability to support those affected by the wildfires.
Cantellops estimates that his two businesses alone have suffered a staggering loss of approximately $73,000 in revenue within just one week. As a result, restaurants, farmers, and activity operators are struggling to sustain their operations and support the local community. Nutcharee Case, owner of a popular Thai restaurant, emphasizes the dire need for tourists to come to the island. Their support is crucial as locals continue to recover and rebuild after the wildfires have taken their toll.
The challenges faced by the island’s businesses are further compounded by the recent disruptions caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Fresh produce suppliers, already struggling due to decreased demand, are now extremely concerned about their prospects for sustaining operations. The livelihoods of these suppliers, as well as other businesses that remain open in unaffected areas, are heavily reliant on tourism to survive and recover from the crises that have struck Maui.
Gabe Lucy, president of Sail Trilogy, an established sailing tour company, highlights the importance of responsible visitors. Their presence not only helps the island thrive but also prevents mass layoffs among the workforce, which is already grappling with the economic fallout. A balanced approach is necessary to ensure the preservation of local businesses, communities, and the island’s unique culture.
Despite the recent wildfires, Maui’s appeal as a top tourist destination remains intact. With its breathtaking landscapes, world-class resorts, and warm hospitality, the island continues to offer a haven for visitors seeking respite. Those who choose to visit now can play a vital role in supporting local businesses and fostering Maui’s recovery.
In conclusion, the wildfires that have struck parts of Maui have ravaged not only the scenic landscapes but also the island’s economy. Encouraging tourists to continue visiting is crucial for businesses to survive, people to retain their livelihoods, and the community to rebuild. Responsible and compassionate visitors hold the key to reviving the spirit of Maui and helping it thrive once again.