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Official Hawaii Tourism Authority Update for Visitors on West Maui

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All non-essential travel to West Maui (including Lāhainā, Nāpili, Kāʻanapali, and Kapalua) is strongly discouraged through the month of August, Governor Josh Green said in his latest emergency proclamation.

Visitors largely heeded the call to leave Maui in the early days of this unprecedented disaster. In the weeks ahead, the collective resources and attention of the federal, state, and county governments, the West Maui community, and the travel industry must be focused on the recovery of residents who lost loved ones, homes, belongings, and businesses. 

Hotels in West Maui have temporarily stopped accepting bookings of future reservations. While efforts are underway to fully restore electrical power, municipal water, and communications, visitors are encouraged to refrain from attempting to reach West Maui accommodations for reservation adjustments until the situation stabilizes.

Visitors with travel plans to other parts of Maui (including Kahului, Wailuku, Kīhei, Wailea, and Mākena) should reach out to their accommodations to ensure they can still be hosted.

Travel to the other Hawaiian Islands, like Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Lānaʻi, and Hawaiʻi Island, is not affected at this time.

West Maui Hotels To House Evacuees, Disaster Workers

Hotels in West Maui have temporarily stopped accepting bookings of future reservations. At this time, hotels are housing their employees and families, evacuees, and first responders working on disaster recovery – well over 1,000 people so far with more to come. More information on efforts to house evacuees can be found at

Vacation Rental Owners and Operators, Property Owners With Available Space Urged To List Units For Evacuees

Vacation rental owners, as well as anyone with available space, are encouraged to make these accommodations available to temporarily house displaced West Maui residents. Starting today, the state has set up a referral program to make those connections possible to support West Maui residents in need of housing. Learn more, offer your space, or look for housing at the Fire Relief Housing Program website.

A call center is also available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily at 808-587-0469, or email [email protected] has also announced an initiative to provide free, temporary stays to 1,000 people through its network of hosts. Details of that program will be announced in the coming days.

Access Restrictions In West Maui 

The devastation in Lāhainā is immense and unprecedented. The extent of the damage affecting residents, families, and area businesses has yet to be fully understood. Experts have warned that hazardous materials are likely to be present. The area most affected by the wildfires is off-limits to the public, and vehicular access is restricted to the region. For updates, visit the County of Maui website

Assistance Center Relocated to Ke‘ehi Lagoon

The Assistance Center at the Hawai‘i Convention Center has been relocated to the Keʻehi Lagoon Memorial Hall at 2685 N. Nimitz Highway in Honolulu.

Operated in partnership with the American Red Cross to support those evacuated from Maui due to the wildfires, the Assistance Center has served nearly 300 visitors and residents since the facility opened on August 9. Evacuees are provided with temporary accommodations until they are able to board flights to return home or secure their own lodging.

Water and food are provided to the evacuees, as well as showers, toiletries and clothes if needed, all free of charge. 

Shuttles offering free transportation from the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport to the Keʻehi Lagoon Memorial Hall are running throughout the day and can be found outside of baggage claim 9 and baggage claim 20 at the airport.

Airline Cancellation & Change Policies

Due to the wildfires and their impact on people’s travel plans, the major U.S. airlines serving Kahului Airport have implemented flexible travel policies for changing or canceling flights. For specific information, check with your airline. The U.S. Department of Transportation has posted a page with links to the major carriers serving Kahului Airport.

How to Help

Anyone wanting to make donations to help communities and families recover on Maui can do so through the Maui Strong Fund established by the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation. The link can be accessed here.

Due to capacity limitations in the system, please consider making financial rather than physical donations.

The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority will continue to provide updates and answers to frequently asked questions on its  website.

About the author


Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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