Letters to the Editor

Letters: Topics Cover Restaurant Reservations, Visitor Eco Fees and COVID-19 Testing for Vaccinated Travelers

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Letters to the Editor
Maui Now seeks your Letters to the Editor. To submit a letter online: Letters to the Editor Form

Maui Restaurants Should Give Reservation Priority to Locals

Shame on all the fancy Maui restaurants for not allowing open tables for residents. We supported you all these last 12 months — ordering takeout at full price and even tipping. Now that the tourists are back, we can’t get a table to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or just because we would like to enjoy dinner out, too.

You should allow residents to book tables before the tourists. We live here. We work here. Now you shut us out for the tourist dollar. We are happy your business is picking up and we hope you thrive again, but show us some love! — Alayna Davies-Smith, Kīhei

Maui Should Implement an ʻEco Feeʻ to Tourists

Understanding the need to address tourist levels, tourist income and manage Maui’s eco system, would it be possible to have an eco fee (say $100 per person) for each person flying to Hawaii from the mainland or other countries?  


This would increase the cost of coming to Maui, helping to offset the low cost flights currently available and projected to be available for awhile.  — Ray Piantanida, Lahaina

Maui Residents Should Welcome Visitors, Not Kill the Golden Goose

Put yourself in the visitorsʻ shoes. While I do not condone some of the rude actions of our visitors, I do want you to see things from their perspective. Just like us, they have been cooped up at home for 14 months.

The family decides to come back to Maui, their favorite spot for the last ??? years. They arrive to long lines, a hot airport, our local governments mandatory secondary test. This adds another hour or more to their arrival time. Lack of car rentals, limited Uber and the resorts will not pick them up to take them to the resort. Now they are hungry, our fine state and local government has limited seating to 50%. Not a great way to start a trip.


Imagine us going to Las Vegas having the same procedures? Would we go back?  We wanted to limit tourism, but now we are killing the Golden Goose as they will choose to travel to other places. Good for us, no visitors, no plan to survive.

Now remember, unemployment will be limited or gone, and unless the state actually has a plan other than the Governor saying technology, our future leaders and workers will also leave. We have the choice to welcome visitors and make the best of a challenging situation, which 99% do. Thank you for taking care of the resident and visitor. — Buff Weaver, Lahaina

Vaccinated Visitors Should Be Exempt from COVID-19 Test Mandates

I will be visiting Maui in June. I know the Governor’s Mandates for COVID-19 pre testing. I think it is unfair for someone that is vaccinated and has proof with an original vaccine card that they cannot upload this information to Hawaiʻi Safe Travels and show proof when they get to the airport.


I still need to take a COVID-19 test before I leave Las Vegas. Is the state of Hawaiʻi getting kick backs for these COVID-19 tests prior to travel? I know the Governor is trying to keep people safe. Why should I have an extra cost for another test for COVID-19, which I am vaccinated for? — Donnie Penrod, Las Vegas, NV

To submit a letter to the editor, click here.


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