Maui Discussion

Maui Now Survey: Majority unhappy with return of cruise ships, don’t want commercial downhill bicycling tours, families feel priced out of Maui County

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NOTE: This is not a scientific survey, the results only reflect the opinions of survey respondents.

On Thursday, Feb. 3, Maui Now released a survey asking its readers to share their opinions and attitudes toward current issues affecting Maui County. The survey questions included topics from booster shot requirements, the return of cruise ships to Maui, staff shortages, and commercial downhill bicycling tours on the roadways of Haleakalā.

Survey responses were collected for 14 days from Feb. 3 to 16, 2022.

Announcements inviting the public to take the survey were posted on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the Maui Now website.

Maui Now received 1,402 verified responses with 83% identifying as Maui County residents and 17% identifying as non-residents. A total of 89% of respondents identified as registered voters and 11% as non-registered voters.

At the time the Maui Now survey was released, vaccine booster shot requirements were in place to access certain Maui County businesses.

On Monday, Feb. 21, the longstanding rule regarding proof of vaccination status to dine-in at restaurants or to visit other “high risk” businesses like bars and gyms was lifted. Read more about the Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino's announcement here.

On Friday, Feb. 4, Mayor Victorino announced relaxing the restriction that had required patrons to show proof of “updated” vaccination status reflecting booster completion for those who qualified, if they wanted to dine inside restaurants, or visit other businesses considered by the county to be “high-risk.” Read more about the announcement here.

*The following question was posed when the booster requirement was in place. It has since been lifted.

More than half of survey respondents, 51% are dissatisfied with the decision to allow cruise ships back to Maui.

On Wednesday, Jan. 12, the Grand Princess cruise ship arrived at Kahului Harbor with an estimated 1,188 passengers aboard and 900-plus crew members. The cruise ship was the first with passengers to disembark in 22 months. Read more about the vessel's arrival here.

A majority of survey respondents, 96% believe that local families are being priced out of Maui County due to rising costs. In addition, 44% of survey respondents reported experiencing staff shortages at their place of employment .

In a video interview with Maui Now, attorney Shannon Sheldon shared her thoughts about the out-migration of talent and long-time residents from Hawai’i to the mainland. Sheldon identified increasing costs as a primary factor for Hawai'i's "brain drain."

Recent reports by employers also show that staff shortages are widespread. For instance, in December 2021, trash collection for many areas in Upcountry Maui was delayed.

An estimated 52% of respondents feel that commercial downhill bicycling tours on the roadways of Haleakalā should not be allowed, 26% have no opinion and 23% feel that they should be allowed.

Decades-old concerns over Maui downhill bicycling have resurfaced in recent months, and many hope Maui County Council deliberations on the topic will help pave a new, safer path forward. Read more about this issue here.

To help ensure accuracy, all participants were required to verify their information by logging in through one of the following services: HubHawaii.com, Facebook, Amazon or Google. Email addresses were also compared for duplicates to ensure each respondent received only one vote.

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