Maui News: Higher Death Toll, Travel Restrictions Still in Place

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Front Street, Lahaina

The wildfire death toll in Maui is now at least 114 people with officials estimating 1,000 more could still be unaccounted in what is being called “the deadliest U.S. wildfire in over 100 years.”

“It is absolutely tragic, devastating,” Quentin Koch, president of Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, told CNN, adding that several of his co-workers lost their homes while other partners lost their businesses in the wildfire.

June Pagdilao, DoS at the Maui Visitors & Convention Bureau, lost his home and everything but the shirt he was wearing. Luckily his wife and grown children are unharmed, but some other family members were not that fortunate. Here is a fund to help this family directly:

A number of the SongDivision team are based in Maui, including Marsha Sharpe, who is also a Maui Food Bank board member and has been volunteering her time since the fires started. In a recent interview, she emphasized the need for continued support and donations to maintain the level of help needed to recover from these devastating events. To find out how you can help them, visit:

Elizabeth Turnbull, Market Director, Group Sales Caribbean & Latin America at Marriott International, posted on LinkedIn about her company’s efforts to help. “It has been a devastating week for our friends and colleagues in Maui. With this TakeCare Relief fund, Marriott will be matching points donations.”

In light of ongoing rescue and recovery efforts, travel to the affected area of Maui has been curtailed, with visitors and planners urged to reschedule pending trips and to refrain from contacting local hotels and resorts until the situation has stabilized. Planners also have been tasked with canceling upcoming and near-future meetings and remain in a holding pattern until things improve.

Commenting on the Meetings Community Google Group, Andrea Gold of Gold Star Speakers Bureau — who was just there in March — said that it will be “slow going” for a while.

“Kaanapali and the hotels in those neighboring areas were not affected physically but there’s only one road that goes through Lahaina to get to those places. Also, Lahaina was a main destination for meeting attendees. It was the draw of the area,” she noted.

Travel to the other Hawaiian islands, including Kauai, Oahu, Lanai and the island of Hawaii are not affected at this time.

As more information becomes available, HTA will be providing communication updates to their travel partners—including airlines, accommodations, ground transportation companies, activity providers, travel agents and wholesalers, as well as to local and national media—to keep them informed about travel to Maui.

For updates, visit visit, or the HTA.

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