Kamaka Pili Visits Mālama Maui Hikina

May 21, 2024

Watch Kamaka Pili's segment on HTA's YouTube channel.

KHON2's Kamaka Pili visited East Maui to see the work of Mālama Maui Hikina, a collaborative of community organizations working with the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) and Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau (MVCB) on the East Maui Tourism Management Pilot Program.
HTA is funding this community-driven approach to destination management as guided by its Maui Destination Management Action Plan (DMAP). HTA and MVCB also organized the East Maui Advisory Group comprised of East Maui residents which provided important input on this program.
MVCB issued a RFP in April 2023 seeking proposals from the East Maui community with innovative, community-driven management projects to address tourism’s impacts at heavily visited sites identified in the Maui Destination Management Action Plan (DMAP).
These sites are especially popular with visitors, which may result in overcrowding, congestion, degradation of resources, safety hazards, and a negative experience for both residents and visitors. Each of the Mālama Maui Hikina partners are responsible for working to restore balance in the following East Maui sites:

  • Hōlani Hāna – Honolewa (a.k.a. South Wailua Falls)
  • Ke Ao Hāli‘i – Kaihalulu (a.k.a. Red Sand Beach) and Waioka (a.k.a. Venus Pools)
  • Native Hawaiian Philanthropy d.b.a. Na Mahi‘ai o Ke‘anae – Nā‘ili‘ilihaele Stream (a.k.a. Bamboo Forest) and Waikamoi Falls

In addition to the Mālama Maui Hikina partners, this collaborative effort was made possible with the support of many others, including the East Maui Advisory Group, County of Maui, Maui Police Department, Maui Department of Fire and Public Safety, State Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry and Wildlife, State Department of Transportation, Mahi Pono and Alexander & Baldwin. 

The purpose of the East Maui Tourism Management Pilot Program is to uplift community-based solutions that will be supported by HTA. It advances the Maui DMAP in which residents specifically called for managed tourism actions: initiate, fund and continue programs to protect the health of ocean, fresh water and land-based ecosystems and biosecurity; explore the capacity limits at heavily visited sites through science-based data; continue to offer cultural education and training programs to enhance and perpetuate aloha; implement a responsible communications program to educate visitors pre- and post-arrival about safe and respectful travel; amplify regenerative tourism on Maui; and develop and promote initiatives to improve the experience of transportation and ground travel.