HTA Creating Tourism Recovery Plan in Response to Maui Wildfires

Photo credit: James Wheeler/Pexels.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) has created a Disaster Response Interaction Group to aid in HTA's rehabilitation initiatives in Maui and will begin work on a Tourism Recovery Plan.

“As we continue to assess the needs of Maui’s people and how they envision rebuilding for the future, a Tourism Recovery Plan is critical to supporting Maui’s revival and the state's immediate, mid-term, and long-term recovery efforts,” said the HTA Board Vice Chair.

In the wake of the Lahaina and Kula wildfires, the board of directors approved the request for a Tourism Emergency Declaration from Hawai‘i State Governor Josh Green.

In addition, the board has constituted a Disaster Response Permitted Interaction Group from its members to address the effects on Maui’s communities and the tourism sector.

Specifically, the group aims:

  1. To comprehend the present circumstances and cater to the needs of the local residents, community, workers, visitors, businesses, and the entire industry.
  2. To channel resources in response to the tourism crisis arising from the brushfires in West Maui and Kula.
  3. To devise both immediate and long-term strategies to maximize the efficient use of HTAʻs resources.
  4. To chronicle and catalogue emergency reactions and recuperation methods that can be applied for upcoming disasters, with a particular focus on the West Maui fires and wider challenges.
  5. To craft a robust communication approach that's innovative, consistent, collaborative, and aligned with primary stakeholders.

On 31AUG, the HTA board approved the Maui Marketing Recovery Plan, which is being implemented through mid-NOV 2023. According to HTA, the plan is centred around a new Mālama Maui campaign and prioritizes rebuilding travel demand from the U.S., Maui’s largest visitor source market.

“HTA continues to work among the community and visitor industry as we support the people of Maui,” said HTA’s Chief Administrative Officer. “This Tourism Recovery Plan will correspond with our comprehensive stewardship, destination management, and visitor education initiatives, fostering a more regenerative future for all of Hawaii."

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