Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Latest News

Wildfires have crippled Maui tourism, but other destinations have come back from disasters

Major wildfires on the Hawaiian island of Maui have killed dozens of people and caused heavy damage, particularly in the historic town of Lahaina.

The state has asked all visitors to leave Maui and those planning to travel to affected areas in the coming weeks to reschedule their trips – a harsh blow to a destination whose economy relies heavily on tourism.

The following Q&A with University of South Carolina research professor Rich Harrill, an expert on hospitality and tourism, looks at what’s happened in Hawaii and how other tourism destinations have bounced back from natural disasters.

How tourism-dependent is Hawaii compared to other popular destinations?

Compared with other destinations, Hawaii is very reliant on tourism – it comprises about 25% of the state’s economy. According to the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, visitor spending was projected to be $20.8 billion in 2023 and $23.4 billion in 2026.

Tourism plays an even greater role on Maui. Maui County has the state’s highest reliance on tourism, with 51% of its jobs falling into sectors directly associated with tourism. That means household incomes and purchasing power there are strongly influenced by the tourism economy.

What are the main steps that tourist-related businesses on Maui will have to take in the coming days and weeks?

The first step any business owner should take is to ensure that their business opens in line with all state protocols and laws related to the safety, health and welfare of residents and visitors.

In the short term, the top priorities are helping visitors get flights home, handling cancellations and assessing damage to facilities and property.

Then, in the weeks that follow, businesses will clean up and make repairs. They will have various aid sources, including the county, state and federal governments, nonprofits and private insurers.

As we saw during the Covid-19 shutdowns, downtime can give business owners an opportunity to reflect on their product or service and how they market it. Some business owners decided to close up shop and retire. Others redoubled their efforts to accommodate the post-pandemic rebound in visitor demand.

Maui is asking visitors to leave and to delay planned trips – will a lot of tourism-related jobs be lost?

Individual businesses and corporations may offer some types of worker protection. But historically, many jobs in the tourist sector get cut in the short term when a crisis shuts down business. Then, as conditions improve, companies gradually hire employees back.

How do local governments decide when to start inviting visitors back?

This is a process that’s led by groups known in the travel industry as destination marketing and management organizations. They often have names like tourist boards or convention and visitors bureaus, and they help promote and market local attractions.

Working with their local destination marketing organization, local governments should make decisions carefully about inviting visitors back.

First and foremost, they need to consider the health, safety and welfare of everyone who’s involved – residents, visitors and hospitality providers.

All of those groups should be involved in the decision, and it needs to be communicated through carefully crafted marketing messages to reach globally diverse audiences.

Once the needs of the community and its residents have been met, a new marketing campaign takes place that typically presents a revitalized destination that is open and ready for visitors.

This message may emphasize new and improved aspects of the destination, or simply show that its beloved and iconic qualities are still there to enjoy. That includes making sure that transportation is available to reach the destination and that there’s quality lodging and dining readily available for all price points.

In your experience, does interest in top destinations like Hawaii usually bounce back to pre-disaster levels?

Globally, tourism revenues are projected to grow by almost 5% yearly through 2027. Unlike other forms of economic development, travel and tourism have shown resilience through many different types of crises.

Even destinations that have been massively damaged can regain their markets, although rebuilding may be a multi-year process. New Orleans was a major destination within a decade after it was flooded by Hurricane Katrina. The same was true for the Hawaiian island of Kauai after Hurricane Iniki ravaged it in 1992.

Tourism is an experience that is unique to the human condition. It sustains our hopes and dreams, and offers relaxation and tranquility, or excitement and adventure, through good times and bad.

University of South Carolina research professor Rich Harrill, an expert on hospitality and tourism, explains how such events affect places such as Maui in the short and long term.

This post appeared first on cnn.com

Enter Your Information Below To Receive Free Trading Ideas, Latest News And Articles.






    Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

    You May Also Like

    Latest News

    North Korea may be known as the hermit kingdom, but the isolated nation could be edging toward opening its borders to small numbers of...

    Editor's Pick

    One of the perks of being speaker of the House — or at least, one of the characteristics of it — is that you...

    Latest News

    Evacuations are underway across Hawaii’s Big Island and Maui as passing Hurricane Dora helps fuel wildfires that have damaged structures, prompted rescues and spurred...

    Latest News

    Former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki won her first competitive tennis match in three-and-a-half years on Tuesday, defeating Australian Kimberly Birrell 6-2 6-2 at...

    Disclaimer: balanceandcharge.com, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively “The Company”) do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.


    Copyright © 2024 balanceandcharge.com