Visiting Maui with Respect to Native Traditions and Local Population

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Visiting Maui with Respect to Native Traditions and Local Population

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Since travel restrictions were lifted on the island of Oʻahu, I still have not traveled outside the island. One place that I am keen on traveling to is the island of Maui because it is one of the main Hawaiian Islands that I have not yet explored. Prior to the devastating Lahaina wild fires in August 2023, I was deeply interested in understanding the cultural richness and historical significance of Lahaina. Now, if I get a chance to visit Maui, I would be mindful of the trauma that continues to inflict pain on the local and native populations of Maui. Therefore, I would avoid the area of West Maui and instead explore the main cities of Kahului and Kihei to better understand why Maui continues to be a tourist attraction for Americans. Near Kihei, the site of Haleakala observatory is a common tourist attraction for locals and foreigners. The ongoing debate over tourism development and the restoration of native practices is ever-present on Maui. Tourism on Maui was just recovering from the economic consequences of the pandemic and the economic hardship was again devastated by the Maui wildfires. If I were to document my trip to Maui, I would use a journal to understand the complex dynamics between the state government, tourism industry, and local and native populations. I would also use my journal to record what tourist sites continue to recover from the pandemic in spite of the wildfire catastrophe.

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This item was submitted on March 13, 2024 by Tyler Williams using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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