What progress has been made on the Lānaʻi Destination Management Action Plan?
The year-one progress report for the Lāna‘i Destination Management Action Plan, which includes 9 high-level actions and 23 sub-actions in Phase 1, was recently published by the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority.
The community-based, three-year plan is part of the Maui Nui Destination Management Action Plan 2021-2023 that was approved by the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) in January 2021.
Here is what has been done, according to a six-page report by the HTA:
- Action A: Engage partners to determine a path forward that will enhance interisland transportation options for both residents and visitors. Progress: The County is working with US Rep. Kai Kahele’s office on this item. Lāna‘i is designated a rural airport only, therefore it does not have Essential Air Status (EAS) designation. This situation continues to be monitored. EAS designation and rural designation can assist with lower pricing. It is recommended that residents contact Rep. Kahele’s office to further advocate.
- Action B: Develop partnerships and programs with resorts and other tourism businesses to improve and enhance community relationships. Progress: This action is currently being worked on. In its early stages, the community and hotel were hesitant due to the pandemic and related staffing shortages. Efforts were placed on hold until the beginning of 2022, and the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau have since then resumed discussions on this matter.
- Action C: Enhance and encourage the use of the Lānaʻi Culture & Heritage Centerʻs guide app as a primary part of the travel protocol for traveling to the island. Progress: The app has been enhanced and updated; and all Lānai businesses are encouraged to promote the use of the app by visitors.
- Action D: Encourage sustainable tourism practices on Lānaʻi. Progress: Opportunities were identified through Pūlama Lāna‘i and Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center. Mineral-only sunscreen dispense will be installed at Hulopoʻe Beach. The Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau is working with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to support the Division of Aquatic Resources 30 X 30 benchmarks to manage 30% of nearshore waters statewide by 2030.
- Action E: Promote Lānaʻi City to increase spending that goes to residents and small businesses. Progress: The Lānai Advisory Board was formed, with new day-trip itineraries developed and enhancements made to Lānaʻi webpages on GoHawaii.com. Work also being done to create awareness of transportation to Lānaʻi City from the harbor and airport.
- Action F: Encourage and enable visitors to plan a meaningful day-trip or stay on Lānaʻi that is respectful to the land, the people and the lifestyle of Lānaʻi. Progress: A Mālama Maui County pledge video plays on Expeditions Ferry. Mālama Maui County pledge brochures developed and distributed to businesses to hand out. New advisory group is suggesting regenerative tourism activity ideas with this content being developed for online and social media by the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau. A digital kiosk was installed at Lānaʻi airport in the summer of 2021 but was removed in March 2022 due to the extreme lack of use.
- Action G: Develop and implement a process that visitors to Lānaʻi acknowledge they will protect, respect and learn about Lānaʻi culture and natural resources, and the community during their visit through the Mālama Maui County pledge. Progress: In addition to the video shown on the Expeditions Ferry and brochures given to businesses to handout, a new Mālama Lānaʻi service day-trip program was organized through partnership with Sail Trilogy, Pūlama Lānaʻi and Expeditions Ferry that began in May.
- Action H: Discourage activity companies from dropping off visitors who use Lānaʻi beaches and facilities without contributing to their maintenance. Progress: Through discussions with community members, Maui VIsitors and Convention Bureau determined the issue was more that residents do not want commercial activities in their waters. Action H will be redefined.
- Action I: Educate visitors on activities and events available on Lānaʻi focused on cultural and natural resources. These activities could include fishpond restoration, koa tree planting, etc. Progress: Lānaʻi Cat Sanctuary added to Mālama Hawaiʻi program. Two requests for proposals were issued for the HTA Aloha ʻĀina Program and Community Enrichment Program. Two Lānaʻi Culture & Heritage Center programs are moving forward: Biocultural Landscape Program and Our Living History: Lānaʻi Digital Archive.
HTA works in partnership with the County of Maui’s Office of Economic Development, Office of the Mayor’s Community Liaison for tourism, and the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau. HTA also provided funds to the Hawai‘i Visitors & Convention Bureau/ MVCB to hire a destination manager in August 2021 to assist HTA in implementing the destination management action plan. HTA continues to coordinate with other state and county agencies, nonprofit organizations, and the visitor industry which have been integral to advancing the DMAP efforts.