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US Senator Mazie Hirono Requests All Hands Onboard for Maui

, US Senator Mazie Hirono Requests All Hands Onboard for Maui, eTurboNews | eTN

36 dead in Lahaina. This is an all hands-on-deck situation, were the words of US Senator Mazy Hirono from Hawaii tonight.

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Senator Hirono said she requested that the hurricane and fire devastation in Lahaina and West Maui be approved by President Biden as a national disaster area. This would open up more federal resources, loans, and other relief.

While the press conference went on at the Hawaii Convention Center today, the official death toll in Maui was raised from 6 to 36.

Maui is not all closed to tourism. West Maui, specifically Lahaina and the Kaanapali resort region are closed, but hotels and resorts in other parts of Maui have a message for travelers.

Press conference on August 9 at the Hawaii Convention Center

DBEDT Director James Kunane Tokioka echoed this message tonight.

The State of Hawaii is open for Tourism, but West Maui is closed. An official update on this message, including the exact locations of what is open or closed is expected to be more clearly defined soon.

This contradicts the message the Hawaii Tourism Authority released earlier.

Absent from the press conference was Hawaii Tourism Authority President John de Fries, who will retire soon.

The convention center in Honolulu was converted tonight into a giant shelter, but many tourists were able to rebook themselves into hotels on Oahu and didn’t need the state-sponsored accommodation.

The director of the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism had urged businesses, specifically hotels, and airlines, not to take advantage of the increased demand.

, US Senator Mazie Hirono Requests All Hands Onboard for Maui, eTurboNews | eTN

He praised airlines and hotels for their cooperation, Aloha spirit, and willingness to come together to assist travelers.

Airlines arrived with larger planes today, airlines increased frequency, and accommodations open on Maui and on the neighboring islands kept rates affordable for visitors that had to rebook due to the emergency.

The director’s message is simple:

” We appreciate everyone’s kōkua as our State comes together to support those affected by the Maui fires. 

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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