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We Need You to Weigh In on Maui's Destination Management Plan

Friday, November 06, 2020 1:29 PM | Jen Russo (Administrator)

I recently attended the HTA Maui Nui Destination Management Action Plan (DMAP) community meeting, and I wanted to share the discussion points and their survey with you.

Please take a moment to participate in the survey. I think this is a great way for vacation rental stakeholders to give input in this process. Right now the HTA is currently collecting responses where you can provide feedback and input on the proposed actions online at this is due by Monday Nov. 9, 2020.

The Maui steering committee group will be implementing ideas taken from this survey into the plan. The survey will ask you what island you are on and what your local zip code is. 

Please take this opportunity to participate in their survey. One of the big goals of the process is to have a mutually satisfying experience in Hawaii for both the resident and the visitor, via maintaining or increasing value and revenues.

Here’s what the proposed Anchor Action Summary is as discussed in the meeting.  

  • Respect for Natural & Cultural Resources
  • Initiate fund and continue programs to protect health of coral reefs, clean ocean water, native fish and marine wildlife as well as land based ecosystems and biosecurity
  • Support for Native Hawaiian Culture and Community
  • Develop and implement marketing with place based authenticity to attract visitors
  • Continue to offer cultural education and training programs to enhance and perpetuate aloha, malama and kuleana
  • Ensure Tourism and communities enrich each other
  • Ensure more direct benefits to residents from tourism
  • Implement resident communications programs to promote value of tourism
  • Develop & promote initiatives to improve experience of ground travel
  • Align infrastructure with county projections
  • Continue to reach out to the community to understand resident sentiment
  • Strengthen tourism contribution
  • Create county and or state cabinet position with hospitality background to provide tourism updates facilitate progress to residents and elected officials 
  • Implement a responsible tourism marketing communications promo to educate visitors.
  • Develop and implement new travel safety regulations
  • Island Resource Management
  • Increase funding for enforcement 
  • Implement policies to rebalance residents cost of living
  • Address impact of sea level rise
  • Work on reducing our reliance of tourism as our sole economic driver

In this article traffic was at the top of everyone’s mind. It was also suggested that vacation rentals could be taxed more to ensure direct benefits to residents from tourism. I pointed out in the comments section of my survey that vacation rentals are already the highest taxed category bringing in the largest amount of money into the county via Real Property Tax. You can see the data here. Vacation Rentals were also mandated to shut down during the pandemic, with no funding relief.

In addition, the short term rental classification is the largest contributor to the county Affordable Housing Fund annually. A better suggestion to ensure more direct benefits to residents occur from these payments is perhaps increase the ways the county appropriates these funds already collected to directly and positively impact residents.

For more reading on the DMAP and the process go to

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