HTA Publishes Community-Based Tourism Management Plan for Moloka‘i

Mar 4, 2021


The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) has published the 2021-2023 Maui Nui Destination Management Action Plan (DMAP). It is part of HTA’s strategic vision and continuing efforts to manage tourism in a responsible and regenerative manner. It was developed by the residents of Maui, Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i, and in partnership with the County of Maui and Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau (MVCB). The DMAP 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 as well as solutions for enhancing the residents’ quality of life and improving the visitor experience.

“All credit goes to the people of Lāna‘i, 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. The DMAP process provides a collaborative framework within which participants are inspired to ‘mālama’ – to care for, nurture and protect the places and traditions they cherish most,” said John De Fries, HTA’s president and CEO.

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


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

These actions were developed by the Maui, Moloka‘i, and Lāna‘i steering committees, comprised of residents representing the communities they live in, as well as the visitor industry, different business sectors, and nonprofit organizations, with community input. Representatives from the County of Maui, HTA, and MVCB also provided input throughout the process.

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

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

“The timing of the Maui Nui DMAP is more than serendipitous. 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. I am proud of the plan we have put together and look forward to the continued work as we move into the action phase,” said Lisa Paulson, community liaison for the Maui County mayor’s office.

Click here for the Moloka‘i Destination Management Action Plan.