Fodor’s 'No' List 2023
Fodor's Travel Fodor's Travel, November 2, 2022 (excerpt)
Accessing freshwater can often be challenging for island residents. Tourism consumes 65% of the water supply in Bali, while in the Caribbean and Hawaiian islands, it accounts for the biggest usage of water. One particularly striking case is Maui.
This past summer, Maui County placed mandatory water restrictions on the residents of West Maui and Upcountry communities with a hefty fine of $500 for non-essential water use, such as irrigation, watering lawns, and washing cars in order to combat dry conditions and high temperatures. However, while everyone on the islands of Maui is asked to conserve water, no such limitations were placed on resorts in South and Central Maui, many of which boast pools, sprawling lawns, and golf courses. As travel returns to pre-pandemic levels–about 8,000 travelers per day to Maui–the disparity in water distribution is leading to conflicts between the hospitality industry and household users.
(Editor’s Note: The Maui Upcountry water system is not physically connected to the water system in Kihei or Lahaina. We could kick every tourist off the island and it would not do anything for Upcountry Maui water users. But, as usual, facts don’t get in the way of Kaniela Ing’s grandstanding.)
Many Native Hawaiians, frustrated about bearing the burden of limiting water use to accommodate tourism, are urging travelers to avoid coming to the islands out of respect for its inhabitants. Former Hawaii State Representative and Native Hawaiian, Kaniela Ing, posted to Twitter last year: “Stop coming to Hawaii. They are treating us like second-class citizens, literally cutting off our water to feed over-tourism.”
Native Hawaiians are paying the price for the growing tourism industry in other ways. The cost of living continues to rise due to the increase of short-term rentals that are predominantly owned by non-residents, which in turn is leading to more people experiencing homelessness, specifically among Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.
Water is restricted for basic daily life for residents, according to Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove, professional MMA fighter and Maui resident, who has been outspoken about the issue. Public beaches have the water turned off for showers and grass areas. However, the waterfalls at resorts are running and their pools and hot tubs remain filled. Grove tells Fodor’s, “There’s no timer or caps on hotel showers which in my opinion should be required and installed in all hotels; the golf courses are green and flourished. All the double standards blatantly pushed in our faces while we, as residents, Hawaiians, are having water restrictions, rerouted and controlled in our homeland.”
He adds, “This is one of many issues, overtourism is ravaging our islands, depleting our natural resources and shipped in. The quantity over quality of visitors that have been arriving with little care for preservation is starting to take a toll, and it’s sad to see.”
read … Full Report
CB: Citing Water Crisis, Maui Makes Fodor’s List Of Places To Not Visit Next Year
Kaniela Ing: The Gift That Just Keeps on Giving