A lone palm tree shaken by the winds. A volcanic backdrop of Maui, Hawaii. Photo by Katie Musial, Unsplash

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Maui, the stunning Hawaiian island known for its lush landscapes, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality, has recently faced wildfires that have deeply impacted its West Maui region, particularly Lahaina. 

The devastation has been heart-wrenching, leading to loss of lives, homes, historical sites, and businesses. Here is how you can travel to Maui respectfully and safely while helping the community recover.

Lanai, Hawaii United States. Photo by Dorota Kowalska Unsplash
Lanai, Hawaii United States. Photo by Dorota Kowalska Unsplash

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West Maui Affected by Fires, but Other Areas of the Island Remain Open

Hawaiʻi Governor Josh Green and local authorities have emphasized the importance of avoiding West Maui during this time as a mark of respect for and to aid in the recovery of the affected areas. Vacation travel to West Maui is strongly discouraged through October 17, 2023.

While West Maui, including Lahaina, Nāpili, Kāʻanapali, and Kapalua, is facing a period of recovery, the other parts of Maui, such as Kahului, Wailuku, Kīhei, Wailea, Mākena, Pāʻia, Makawao, and Hāna, are open to travelers. 

These areas, along with other Hawaiian Islands, provide opportunities to experience the island’s beauty and support the local economy. By choosing to explore other parts of Maui and the Hawaiian Islands, you contribute to the region’s economic recovery.

Maui, Hawaii, USA. Photo by Stephen Leonardi, Unsplash
Maui, Hawaii, USA. Photo by Stephen Leonardi, Unsplash

Hotel Accommodations

Hotels in West Maui have shown their compassionate side by housing evacuees, first responders, and employees impacted by the wildfires. While accommodations in West Maui are temporarily closed to tourists, there are lodging options available in the other areas of Maui and the neighboring islands.

Areas that remain untouched by the wildfires are ready to welcome travelers. These regions offer diverse experiences, from serene beaches to lush forests, creating an unforgettable vacation.

One of the most meaningful ways to contribute to Maui’s recovery is by responsibly exploring the unaffected areas.

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Airline Flexibility

If you had plans to travel to Maui but need to make adjustments due to the wildfires, major U.S. airlines serving Kahului Airport have implemented flexible travel policies. These policies allow you to change or cancel flights without penalties. Be sure to check with your specific airline for details.

Flower in Maui, USA. Photo by Abbs Johnson, Unsplash
Flower in Maui, USA. Photo by Abbs Johnson, Unsplash

How You Can Contribute to Maui’s Recovery

If you’d like to contribute, consider donating to the Maui Strong Fund established by the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation. Your generosity directly supports the recovery efforts and well-being of those impacted by the wildfires.

Maui’s recent challenges have underscored the importance of solidarity and respect for affected communities. Travel responsibly, embrace the culture, and leave behind memories of aloha that will resonate for years to come.

Where You Can Find the Latest Information

Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency:  MauiStrong.hawaii.gov

Hawai‘i Tourism Authority: www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/news/alerts

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