Maui Now Survey: Respondents divided on easing regulations to create more housing; majority think county can do more to address over-tourism
On Friday, April 22, Maui Now released a survey asking its readers to share their opinions and attitudes toward current issues affecting Maui County. Survey questions featured state and local topics including:
- Hawaiʻi’s Safe Travels Program ending,
- Reports of historic drought conditions and record low stream flow in Maui County,
- The growing number of fast food chains opening,
- Easing regulations to create more housing units,
- Over-tourism and its impacts on Maui’s resources and infrastructure.
Survey responses were collected for 14 days from April 22 to May 5, 2022.
Announcements inviting the public to take the survey were posted on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Maui Now’s website and newsletters.
Maui Now received 608 verified responses with 87% identifying as Maui County residents and 13% identifying as non-residents.
A total of 89% of respondents identified as registered voters.
According to the Maui Now reader survey, 45% of respondents were very satisfied with Hawaiʻi’s Safe Travels Program ending on March 26, 21% were somewhat satisfied, 15% were not very satisfied, and 11% were not all satisfied.
As of Saturday, March 26, at 12:01 a.m., the mandatory quarantine for incoming passengers and the Safe Travels program ended. Passengers arriving from any domestic destination will not have to show proof of vaccination or a pre travel test. They will not have to create a Safe Travels account or provide travel information and trip details as they have been.
All pre and post arrival screening ended. This includes post-boarding screening at the airports by participating airlines. This is for domestic travel only, and does not apply to international travelers who must follow federal guidelines. Read more.
Maui Now survey respondents are divided whether Maui County should ease regulations to create more housing units – with 51% saying “yes” to easing regulations and 49% saying “no” to easing regulations.
In a new report from the University of Hawaiʻi Economic Research Organization, rent prices spiked over the first few months this year, with Maui seeing a 41% surge in asking prices compared with the same time last year. Read more.
According to state data, more Maui County homes were purchased by out-of-state buyers last year than in recent years. Read more.
With at least four fast food chains opening this summer in Kahului, 40% of survey respondents expressed concerned with the increase of national fast-food chains opening in Maui County, 24% are somewhat concerned, 16% are not very concerned, and 20% are not at all concerned.
Chick-fil-A, Raising Cane’s, Sonic, Taco Bell and Teddy’s Bigger Burgers (which has ties to Hawaiʻi) have each announced plans to open this year. Read more.
Maui Now survey respondents expressed their concern with over-tourism’s impact on Maui’s resources and infrastructure with 75% saying that the county needs to do more to address over-tourism, 18% are neutral, and 7% saying that all possible actions to address over-tourism has been taken by the county.
An estimated 62% of Maui Now survey respondents reported that they are very concerned with recent reports of “historic” drought conditions in Maui County accompanied by record low stream flow, 28% are somewhat concerned, 7% are not very concerned, and 3% are not at all concerned.
In March, state officials described current drought conditions in Maui County as “historic,” and advised people to take immediate action to reduce water use.
“Most of Hawai‘i is beginning to experience drought conditions, during the time of year when rain is normally plentiful and regular,” according to the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Read more.