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Maui is making an unusual plea to airlines: Please don’t bring so many people to our island

Maui-Tourism Boom
FILE – In this Sept. 24, 2014, file photo, a woman walks on the red sand beach at Kaihalulu Bay in Hana, Hawaii. So many tourists are flocking to Maui now that coronavirus pandemic concerns have eased in the United States that islanders are feeling overwhelmed and Maui’s mayor is begging airlines to cut back on the number of people they fly to the island. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia, File)

Maui mayor is concerned about the boom in travel over the last few months.

For nearly a year, Maui residents have been happy to have the island to themselves.

“Over-tourism” has long been a complaint of locals on the Hawaiian island that is among the world’s popular getaways: congested roads, crowded beached, packed restaurants.

As the U.S begins to travel again, Maui faces some of the same struggles seen on the mainland with staffing and find good workers.

With the restaurants in Maui still operating at limited capacity, they are struggling with keeping up with the demands of more people dining out.

Maui is making an unusual plea to airlines: Please don’t bring so many people to our island.

“We don’t have the authority to say stop, but we are asking the powers to be to help us,” Mayor Michael Victorino said in recent news
conference.

Hawaii has had some of the nation’s most stringent coronavirus public health restrictions.

The governor doesn’t plan on lifting all restrictions until 70% of the states population is vaccinated.

Hawaii has become a very popular place to visit as other states ease rules.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority said 215,148 visitors came to the island in may compared tp just 1.054 during the same month last year.

Even more are expected over the July 4 holiday weekend, with the Maui Visitors Bureau anticipating arrivals will at least equal 2019 levels.

Restaurants are only open at 50% capacity, they are feeling the strain.

City Council member Yuki Lei Sugimura said residents are frustrated but appreciate travelers.