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The long-lasting economic repercussions of wildfires are expected to extend for years


Sep 2, 2023

The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) has allocated $2.6 million for a marketing campaign aimed at informing U.S. travelers that most of Maui is open for visitors. While UH economists believe it will take several years for tourism to fully recover, the construction industry and federal aid money are expected to help fill the gap. However, the recent fires on the island have had a severe impact on Maui’s visitor economy, resulting in a significant decrease in visitor arrivals and job losses. The wildfires destroyed 1,500 rooms and affected around 4,000 visitors, who typically spent about $70 million per month. Although areas like Kihei and Wailea are expected to recover by Thanksgiving, the same cannot be said for West Maui, which will lag behind in its recovery. UHERO Director Carl Bonham believes there will be a multi-year process to regain previous visitor levels and spending. The local community is urging visitors to support local businesses, as their livelihoods are at stake. The rebuilding of Lahaina, however, faces challenges due to significant cultural and commercial differences that need to be addressed before planning can begin.

By Editor

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