Visit with “Aloha”
By Jamie Anderson, VTA, Travel & Cruise Desk
(Ku’u Kauanoe/Civil Beat/2023)
Last August, Maui faced a heartbreaking crisis with wildfires in Lahaina, West Maui, leading to significant losses. Despite this, the global community rallied in support, highlighting a profound connection with the island. In September, Travel & Cruise Desk along with around 200 other travel agencies and preferred partners from across the country were represented at the Signature Travel Network Owners Meeting on Maui. Collectively the group raised over $500k and 7,000 pounds of essential supplies for those impacted by the fires. As 2024 unfolds, Maui remains a resilient and inviting destination, with a respectful call to travelers. At Travel & Cruise Desk, we are also encouraging our clients to consider visiting Maui this year and very much appreciate this opportunity to share our message and the following points with the community.
Visitors to Maui are now part of a more meaningful journey. Local leaders and the Hawaiian Tourism Authority are asking for visits imbued with “Aloha” — embodying compassion and empathy. Their presence and understanding of the island’s struggles contribute significantly to its healing process.
Supporting Local Communities
The rejuvenation of Maui hinges on the prosperity of its local businesses. Choosing local stores, eateries, and services translates directly into supporting the island’s economy and its people. Resources like mauinuifirst.com offer guides to ensure your contributions impact the
Mālama Maui: Care and Nurture
Volunteering in Maui offers a unique opportunity to connect deeply with the island. These experiences not only aid in recovery but also enrich your visit, fostering a genuine bond with the land and its heritage.
Lahaina, deeply impacted by the fires, remains a culturally significant area. Travelers are being urged to respect the community’s healing by refraining from visiting or photographing here. Understanding its history from a distance is a respectful acknowledgment of the community’s loss.
A Resilient Paradise
Despite recent challenges, Maui’s natural beauty continues to captivate. The island offers tranquil beaches and lush landscapes for a serene or adventurous escape. A visit in 2024 will go beyond tourism; it’s an act of solidarity and support for an island rebuilding its spirit.
We truly believe that respectful and mindful travel will not only contribute to the island’s recovery and enduring legacy, but will also make for a more enriching experience for the traveler. Whether you book with our agency or some other way, together our community can support Maui in weaving a brighter, more connected future for this enchanting island. You can read FAQs and learn more at www.gohawaii.com/islands/maui/malama-maui.