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Business Travel News etn Feature Article Government and Public Sector Tourism News Hawaii Travel News Hospitality Industry News Hotel & Resort News rebuilding Tourism Investment News Tourism News Travel Travel Destination Travel News USA Travel News

Hawaii Tourism plans for Maui, Molokai and Lanai

Maui Nui 2

As part of a community-based tourism plan, the Hawaii Tourism Authority has published an action plan to manage tourism in what is known as the Maui Nui which includes the islands of Maui, Molokai, and Lanai.

  1. The Destination Management Action Plan will serve as a guide to rebuild, redefine, and reset the direction of tourism on the three islands that make up Maui Nui.
  2. Focus is on key actions that the community, visitor industry, and other sectors deem necessary over a three-year period.
  3. Actions are based on four interacting pillars – Natural Resources, Hawaiian Culture, Community, and Brand Marketing.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) has published the 2021-2023 Maui Nui Destination Management Action Plan (DMAP). It is part of HTA’s strategic vision and continuing efforts to manage tourism in a responsible and regenerative manner. It was developed by the residents of Maui, Molokai and Lanai, and in partnership with the County of Maui and Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau (MVCB). The DMAP serves as a guide to rebuild, redefine and reset the direction of tourism on the three islands that make up Maui Nui. It identifies areas of need as well as solutions for enhancing the residents’ quality of life and improving the visitor experience.

“All credit goes to the people of Lanai, Molokai and Maui who committed themselves to the DMAP process and were willing to face tough issues, embrace diverse viewpoints, explore new ideas and identify actionable priorities. The DMAP process provides a collaborative framework within which participants are inspired to ‘malama’ – to care for, nurture and protect the places and traditions they cherish most,” said John De Fries, HTA’s president and CEO.

The community-based plan focuses on key actions that the community, visitor industry and other sectors deem necessary over a three-year period. The foundation of the Maui DMAP is based on HTA’s 2020-2025 Strategic Plan. The actions are based on the four interacting pillars of HTA’s Strategic Plan – Natural Resources, Hawaiian Culture, Community and Brand Marketing.


  • Implement a responsible tourism marketing communications program to educate visitors pre- and post-arrival about safe and respectful travel.
  • Initiate, fund and continue programs to protect the health of ocean, fresh water and land-based ecosystems and biosecurity.
  • Continue to reach out to the community to understand resident sentiment, increase communications to residents, and foster collaboration.
  • Continue to offer cultural education and training programs to enhance and perpetuate aloha, malama and kuleana and the authentic Hawaii experience.
  • Develop regenerative tourism initiatives.
  • Develop and promote initiatives to improve the experience of transportation and ground travel.
  • Ensure more direct benefits to residents from tourism.
  • Have HTA and the county advocate for consistent enforcement of laws and progress report(s) on enforcement.


  • Develop communication and education programs to encourage responsible visitor behaviors.
  • Support the growth of Molokai businesses by encouraging new product development focused on regenerative tourism, while continuing support of traditional leisure tourism, to increase jobs for residents.
  • Promote Molokai to attract kamaaina and specific visitor segments who appreciate and understand the Molokai lifestyle.
  • Enhance resident-visitor relations by strengthening existing cultural/community-based organizations and activities.
  • Provide accommodations that meet the needs of the target segments.
  • Engage partners to determine a path forward that will enhance interisland transportation options for both residents and visitors.


  • Engage partners to determine a path forward that will enhance interisland transportation options for both residents and visitors.
  • Develop partnerships and programs with resorts and other tourism businesses to improve and enhance community relationships.
  • Enhance and encourage the use of the Lanai Culture & Heritage Center’s (LCHC) Guide App as a primary part of the travel protocol for traveling to the island.
  • Encourage sustainable tourism practices on Lanai.
  • Promote Lanai City to increase spending that goes to residents and small businesses.
  • Encourage and enable visitors to plan a meaningful daytrip or stay on Lanai that is respectful to the land, the people and the lifestyle on Lanai.
  • Develop and implement a process whereby visitors to Lanai acknowledge to protect, respect, and learn about Lanai cultural and natural resources, and the community during their visit through the Malama Maui County Pledge.
  • Discourage activity companies from dropping off visitors who use Lanai beaches and facilities without contributing to maintenance of the beaches and facilities.
  • Educate visitors on activities and events available on Lanai that are focused on cultural and natural resources, which could include fishpond restoration, koa tree planting, etc.

These actions were developed by the Maui, Molokai, and Lanai steering committees, comprised of residents representing the communities they live in, as well as the visitor industry, different business sectors, and nonprofit organizations, with community input. Representatives from the County of Maui, HTA, and MVCB also provided input throughout the process.

“The hidden gift of COVID-19 is that it gave everyone in Hawaii the opportunity to pause and reevaluate the important role of our hospitality industry. By working with environmental partners, cultural experts, and other aligned stakeholders, the steering committees of Maui, Lanai and Molokai were able to incorporate special considerations for their island communities. I look forward to working with the Maui Nui Destination Management Action Plan steering committees and the Hawaii Tourism Authority to support their commitment to accomplish the action items in this plan,” said Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino.

The Maui Nui DMAP process started in July 2020 and continued with a series of virtual steering committee meetings, as well as three virtual community meetings in October and November.

“The timing of the Maui Nui DMAP is more than serendipitous. As devastating as COVID-19 has been to our community and economy, it gave us the needed ‘pause’ to truly look at ways to bring back tourism in a more thoughtful, managed way. Maui County stakeholders and community members put a lot of thought and dialogue into this plan and creation of actionable items. I am proud of the plan we have put together and look forward to the continued work as we move into the action phase,” said Lisa Paulson, community liaison for the Maui County mayor’s office.

The members of the Maui steering committee are:

  • Seward Akahi (General Manager, Hertz)
  • Rod Antone (Executive Director, Maui Hotel and Lodging Association)
  • Matt Bailey (Managing Director, Montage Hotel)
  • Kathleen Costello (Destination Diva, Wailea Resort Association)
  • Toni Davis (Executive Director, Activities and Attractions Association of Hawaii)
  • Jim Diegel (Chief Strategy Officer, Maui Health)
  • Sherry Duong (Executive Director, Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau)
  • Kawika Freitas (Sales/ Trainer, Old Lahiana Luau)
  • Hokulani Holt-Padilla (Director, Ka Hikina O Ka La, University of Hawaii Maui College)
  • Kaui Kanakaole (Executive Director, Ala Kukui Hana Retreat)
  • Kyoko Kimura (HTA Board Member, Aqua-Aston Hospitality)
  • Marvin Moniz (Airport Manager, Department of Transportation)
  • Jin Prugsawan (Public Information Officer/Chief of Interpretation & Education, Haleakala National Park)
  • Anne Rillero (Community Communications, Maui Nui Marine Resource Council)
  • Andrew Rogers (General Manager, The Ritz Carlton)
  • Pamela Tumpap (Maui Chamber of Commerce)
  • Pomai Weigert (AgBusiness Consultant, GoFarm Hawaii)
  • John White (Director of Marketing, Kaanapali Beach Hotel)
  • Brian Yano (General Manager, Outlets of Maui)

“I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to contribute ideas about protecting Maui’s nearshore ocean water quality, coral reefs and marine wildlife for the Maui Nui Destination Management Action Plan. Thank you HTA for convening this collaborative project and keeping it productive and inclusive, even though we couldn’t meet together in person due to COVID-19,” said Anne Rillero, communications, community outreach, and development manager for the Maui Nui Marine Resource Council and Maui steering committee member.

The members of the Molokai steering committee are:

  • Julie-Ann Bicoy (Community Member)
  • Kanoelani Davis (Owner, Pomahina Designs)
  • Sherry Duong (Executive Director, Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau)
  • Butch Hasse (Executive Director, Molokai Land Trust)
  • Ui Kahue (Business Owner)
  • Kyoko Kimura (HTA Board Member, Aqua-Aston Hospitality)
  • Clare Mawae (Chairman at Youth In Motion, Owner Molokai Outdoors and CSM Management)
  • John Pele (Managing Partner and Resident Manager, Hiro’s Ohana Grill and Paniolo Hale)
  • Greg Solatorio (Halawa Valley Falls Cultural Hike)
  • Rob Stephenson (President, Molokai Chamber of Commerce)

“Through the remarkable partnerships and pivoting of our strategies in the development of the 2021-2023 Maui Nui DMAP, we’re confident that moving forward our community and industry partners will see a strong recovery. Through these next three years, MVCB looks forward to working with the Maui Nui community to redefine and reset the direction of tourism, and rebuild our economy,” said Sherry Duong, executive director of the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau and member of the Maui, Molokai, and Lanai steering committees.

The members of the Lanai steering committee are:

  • Nelinia Cabiles (Managing Editor, Lanai Today)
  • Bill Caldwell (President, Expedition Ferry)
  • Kathy Carroll (Owner, Mike Carroll Gallery)
  • Dr. Keiki-Pua Dancil (Senior Vice President, Government Affairs and Strategic Planning, Pulama Lanai)
  • Sherry Duong (Executive Director, Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau)
  • Lisa Grove (CEO at Grove Insight and Farmer at Ola Kamoku Farm)
  • Alberta De Jetley (Community Member)
  • Kyoko Kimura (HTA Board Member, Aqua-Aston Hospitality)
  • Gabe Lucy (CEO, Trilogy Excursions/ Lanai Ocean Sports)
  • Alastair McAlpine (General Manager, Four Seasons Lanai)
  • Diane Preza (Director of Community Development, Pulama Lanai)
  • Shelly Preza (Interpretive Resource Management Specialist, Lanai Culture & Heritage Center)
  • Stan Ruidas (Community Member)

“As a small-business owner on Lanai for 19 years, I was humbled and honored to play a role in helping to shape a plan that seeks to malama the island and responsibly promote tourism,” said Kathy Carroll, owner of Mike Carroll Gallery and Lanai steering committee member.

The Maui Nui DMAP is available on HTA’s website:

The Hawaii Island DMAP is being finalized for public distribution, and Oahu’s DMAP process is expected to start this month. The Kauai DMAP was published in early February and is available on HTA’s website:

To learn more about HTA’s Community-Based Tourism program and to follow the progress of the DMAPs visit: