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Photo of empty beach on the Hawaiian island of Maui
Photograph: Unsplash/Pascal Debrunner

When will Maui be ready for tourists again?

The governor urges visitors to forego travel plans as the effects of the devastating wildfires are becoming clearer

Written by
Gerrish Lopez

The devastating Maui wildfires forced thousands of residents and visitors to evacuate as acres of land — including the historic town of Lahaina — have been severely damaged or destroyed. The fire has been mostly contained, but hazards remain. While the island is not currently closed to tourists, Governor Josh Green in a recent proclamation has urged visitors to reconsider travel plans so the federal, state and county government and the West Maui community can focus resources and attention on the recovery of residents who lost loved ones, homes, their belongings and businesses.

Is Maui currently closed to tourists?

Maui is not closed to tourists, however the Governor strongly discourages non-essential travel to West Maui (including Lāhainā, Nāpili, Kāʻanapali, and Kapalua) and tourists who are already there are encouraged to depart if possible. Hotels in West Maui have temporarily stopped accepting bookings of future reservations as they are housing their employees and families, evacuees and first responders working on disaster recovery. Visitors are encouraged to wait until the situation stabilizes before attempting to reach West Maui accommodations for reservation adjustments. Visitors with travel plans to other parts of Maui (including Kahului, Wailuku, Kīhei, Wailea, and Mākena) should reach out to their accommodations for status updates. Travel to the other Hawaiian Islands— Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Lānaʻi, and Hawaiʻi Island—is not affected at this time.

When will Maui be ready for tourists again?

The situation is not fully clear at this time. The focus in Maui is currently on recovery and helping those affected by the wildfires, so travel to the island is strongly discouraged. A “wait and see” approach is best through September, but tourists will be welcomed once again when possible, as much of Maui’s economy is based on tourism. Find updates at

Are flights still going to Hawaii?

Currently the focus of many airlines is helping get visitors off the island. Major U.S. airlines serving Kahului Airport have implemented flexible travel policies for changing or canceling flights. Find a list of major carriers serving Kahului Airport here.

How much of Hawaii’s economy is tourism?

Tourism is the largest industry in Hawaii, around 21% percent of the state's economy. Tourism is even more important in Maui; about 80% of every dollar is generated directly or indirectly by the visitor industry.

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