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Destination Analysis

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Destination Analysis

1. Explain the overall reasons why people travel to this destination.

The reasons people travel to the island of Maui, Hawaii are many. Some want to enjoy the beautiful luscious scenery of tropical rain forests while others the exotic flowers found at the garden of Eden on the Road to Hana. Some want to experience a taste of Maui’s culture found at one of the many fire eating, grass skirt wearing dancers who perform at a Luau, serving scrumptious dishes. Yet others visit the island for great adventures like ziplining across the top of a rainforest, snorkeling near the coral reef or jet skiing across white topped waves. Whatever their reasons, there are various opportunities to satisfy every appetite.

2. Examine the infrastructure this destination has or doesn’t have to support current and future tourism demand (e.g., airport, highways,etc.).

The infrastructure found in Maui does appear to currently support the tourism demand.
When I visited in August 2011, the airport had very little congestion. There were seats available on the airplane which even allowed us to choose where we wanted to sit. Unfortunately, I had the opportunity to visit both Kapalua and Kahului airport, in search of my lost luggage, which were located on opposite ends of the island. The attendants at the Kahului airport were personal and atttentive. Outside the airport the streets were well paved, well lit and bustled with activity. Sadly, the Kapalua airport was closed and had only one security officer manning the premise. Our drive along one of the tourist attractions known as the road to Hana proves the current roadway would not support the future tourist demands. Although the drive was lined with beautiful waterfalls, walking trails and family eateries, the road was extremely winding, steeply uphill with a speed limit of 25 mph. I’m sure it is very frustrating for the residences on their way to work each morning since there is only one lane in each direction, and tourists are encouraged to start as early as 7am. There are places along the road where only one car at a time could pass. We had to back down the roan to allow a cement truck to pass. If you were caught sightseeing along Hana after sunset, the return drive to the city was hazardous. The road is a lonely, bumpy gravel road without street lights and directions were nonexistent. Although it has improved, years ago the road was a tortuous drive. The pavement was full of potholes and driving a rental car could possibly violate your rental agreement. (1)

3. Assess how the plans for hotel and restaurant development at this destination will support the growth of tourism given the current number of hotels, hotel rooms and restaurants available. (The destination’s Convention and Visitors Bureau web site may provide this information).

The total number of traditional hotel units is expected to increase only moderately with planned developments and improvements. The high demand for hotel rooms has resulted in a 20% increase with Maui having the highest average daily room rate of $214.00 The islands experienced a decline in tourism after the September11, 2001 tragedy. And only Maui has experienced a rebound since 2005. (2) With the influx of tourists and the residential populations increasing, retaining an adequate infrastructure becomes increasingly challenging. It is reported the island is at capacity for hotels and hotel rooms, yet tourists are seeking other housing such as Bed and Breakfasts and Condo facilities, similar to their own homes. In the future the hotels may need to establish blackout dates in order to accommodate and regulate the flow of tourism. In addition, the residences are against building additional hotels because they are worried about protecting their natural resources and preserving the uniqueness of the health of the island.

4. Propose three new attractions, features, amenities infrastructure changes, or other offerings that you believe this destination needs to prepare for the future. As the tourism industry grows, it creates a demand for more skilled and trained workers. However, the wages are reportedly 25% lower within the industry than outside the visitor industry. I would propose to increase the wages as incentive for attracting more skilled and exceptional workers. This would ensure repeat visits continued growth for the service industry. The road to Hana is a major tourist attraction because of the experiences it offers. But the congestion along the single roadway needs improvement to accommodate not only the residences but also the tourists. I would propose construction work to complete the ending of the road from gravel to pavement, add visible signage and lighting. Lastly, the island offers many historical sites which needs to be preserved and protected. Unfortunately some visitors and residents are not aware they should not touch certain items so as to maintain longevity. A way to educate the visitors prior to arrival, could be to offer reading information on the plane or showing a film on the long ride to their destination. On our plane ride, we were given items to sign verifying our intentions, advising against bringing back lava and/or plants unless checked in beforehand. This would better educate the visitors and prompt them to help preserve the environment.

Reference Page

Maui Revealed, Andrew Doughty, 5th Edition, pg 74, 21

Maui County Tourism Strategic Plan 2006-2015, pg 3, 7, 9…...

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