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Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority Published Visitor Management Plan for Maui Nui

The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority published a Maui Nui plan for tourism based on community input from steering committees on Maui, Lānaiʻi and Molokaʻi. Photo Credit: Cammy Clark

The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority has published the 2021-2023 Maui Nui Destination Management Action Plan, which is part of the authority’s strategic vision and continuing efforts to manage tourism in a responsible and regenerative manner.

The Destination Management Action Plan (DMAP) was developed by steering committees made up of residents of Maui, Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi, people in the visitor industry, business sector and nonprofit organizations — and in partnership with the County of Maui and Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau.

The plan 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 and solutions for enhancing the residents’ quality of life and visitors’ experience.

“All credit goes to the people of Lānaʻi, Moloka’i 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,” said John De Fries, Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority’s president and CEO. “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.”

The community-based plan focuses on key actions that the community, visitor industry and other sectors deem necessary over a 3-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.

Maui:

  • 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 Hawaiʻi 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.

Molokaʻi:

  • Develop communication and education programs to encourage responsible visitor behaviors.
  • Support the growth of Molokaʻi businesses by encouraging new product development focused on regenerative tourism, while continuing support of traditional leisure tourism, to increase jobs for residents.
  • Promote Molokaʻi to attract kamaʻaina and specific visitor segments who appreciate and understand the Molokaʻi 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.

Lānaʻi:

  • 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 Lānaʻi Culture & Heritage Center’s Guide App as a primary part of the travel protocol for traveling to the island.
  • Encourage sustainable tourism practices on Lānaʻi.
  • Promote Lānaʻi City to increase spending that goes to residents and small businesses.
  • Encourage and enable visitors to plan a meaningful day trip or stay on Lānaʻi that is respectful to the land, the people and the lifestyle on Lānaʻi.
  • Develop and implement a process whereby visitors to Lānaʻi acknowledge to protect, respect, and learn about Lānaʻi 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 Lānaʻi beaches and facilities without contributing to maintenance of the beaches and facilities.
  • Educate visitors on activities and events available on Lānaʻi that are focused on cultural and natural resources, which could include fishpond restoration and koa tree planting.

“The hidden gift of COVID-19 is that it gave everyone in Hawaiʻi the opportunity to pause and reevaluate the important role of our hospitality industry,” Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino said. “By working with environmental partners, cultural experts and other aligned stakeholders, the steering committees of Maui, Lānaʻi and Molokaʻi 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 Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority to support their commitment to accomplish the action items in this plan.”

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

“The timing of the Maui Nui DMAP is more than serendipitous,” said Lisa Paulson, community liaison for the Maui County mayor’s office. “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.”

Maui steering committee members:

  • 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 Hawaiʻi)
  • Jim Diegel (Chief Strategy Officer, Maui Health)
  • Sherry Duong (Executive Director, Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau)
  • Kawika Freitas (Sales/ Trainer, Old Lahaina Luau)
  • Hokulani Holt-Padilla (Director, Ka Hikina O Ka La, University of Hawaiʻi 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, Haleakalā 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 Hawaiʻi)
  • 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,” said Anne Rillero, communications, community outreach and development manager for the Maui Nui Marine Resource Council and Maui steering committee member.

Molokaʻi steering committee members:

  • Julie-Ann Bicoy (Community Member)
  • Kanoelani Davis (Owner, Pomahina Designs)
  • Sherry Duong (Executive Director, Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau)
  • Butch Hasse (Executive Director, Molokaʻi Land Trust)
  • Ui Kahue (Business Owner)
  • Kyoko Kimura (HTA Board Member, Aqua-Aston Hospitality)
  • Clare Mawae (Chairman at Youth In Motion, Owner Molokaʻi 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, Molokaʻi Chamber of Commerce)

Lānaʻi steering committee members:

  • Nelinia Cabiles (Managing Editor, Lanaʻi 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 Lanaʻi)
  • 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 Lanaʻi)
  • Diane Preza (Director of Community Development, Pulama Lanaʻi)
  • Shelly Preza (Interpretive Resource Management Specialist, Lanaʻi Culture & Heritage Center)
  • Stan Ruidas (Community Member)

The Hawaiʻi Island DMAP is being finalized for public distribution, and Oahu’s DMAP process is expected to start this month. The Kauaʻi DMAP was published in early February and is available on HTA’s website: https://www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/media/6487/hta-kauai-dmap.pdf.

To learn more about HTA’s Community-Based Tourism program and to follow the progress of the DMAPs visit: www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/what-we-do/hta-programs/community-based-tourism/

Original source: https://mauinow.com/2021/03/04/hawai%ca%bbi-tourism-authority-published-visitor-management-plan-for-maui-nui/

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