Support local businesses as Maui recovers  

Britney Alejo-Fishell, a Native Hawaiian business owner of a popular lei vendor on Maui has an urgent message for people considering visiting Hawai‘i: We welcome you. We aloha you.  

While West Maui works to recover and rebuild for years to come, the rest of Maui remains open and is ready to welcome mindful travelers back to the island to support business owners like Britney and others listed below. 

If you’ve traveled with us to Maui before, you know local businesses are the heartbeat of the community and part of what makes Maui so special. If you’re interested in supporting the Maui community through recovery—including travel—below are some local Maui businesses to add to your list, where you can go on the island and other ways you can help support Maui. 

Britney Alejo-Fishell

Owner and creator of Haku Maui in Makawao
(Upcountry Maui)

“As we navigate through the recent events that have taken place on Maui and ʻauamo kuleana (assume a sense of responsibility) as a community, Maui continues to need your support and kākoʻo (assistance) in keeping our economy open. We need the likes of both kamaʻāina (locals) and malihini (visitors) to continue to support our local businesses and local economy so that we, as a kaiāulu (community), can continue to give as well. Please continue to support our economy through responsible travel, shopping local, and sharing this message to assist us in amplifying our voices.” 

Cindy Liu

Owner of L&L Hawaiian Barbecue in Honokōwai
(West Maui)

“Many of us are down to nothing – we’ve lost a lot, but we can recover slowly with the help of responsible tourists and locals returning to Maui. We want our restaurant to thrive again so that we can provide for our community and our family.” 

Riley Coon

Owner, Trilogy Excursions from Lāhainā  
(West Maui)

“Aloha, I’m Captain Riley Coon, a Native Hawaiian and a third-generation owner of Trilogy Excursions. We are Maui’s premier ocean activity company established by my grandparents in 1973. We offer Maui’s best sailing and snorkeling experiences on the water, and it’s our passion to create lifelong memories that span generations. I never could have imagined, as we celebrated our 50th anniversary this summer, that soon after we would find ourselves aiding our community by using our boats for Lāhainā fire rescues and relief efforts. As we continue to support our local community, we also need to keep our business operational so our employees can have a life on Maui. By choosing to book a trip to Maui and sail with us, you not only will have a first-class experience, but you will be supporting our island towards recovery.” 

Rachael Ray Au Hoon

Owner & artist at U‘i Gallery in Kahului
(Central Maui)

“Aloha! My name is Rachael Ray and I am the owner and oil painter of U‘i Gallery in Kahului, Maui. We’ve been a favorite place to shop for local handmade gifts, art, jewelry, woodwork, apparel, home goods, and fresh flower lei since 2014. U‘i means handsome, pretty, beautiful in the Hawaiian language and truly that is what our gallery feels like the moment you walk into our oasis of aloha. Maui is a very resilient island and the people in our community work together to support each other in times of great need. When you visit Maui, you support us as we all heal and grow together through the change as an ‘ohana (family) in the spirit of aloha. E kipa mai iā Maui (come visit Maui)!” 

Kalani Pe‘a

3-time GRAMMY Award-winning Native Hawaiian singer,
songwriter, and music producer from Wailuku
(Central Maui)

“E hele mai a e kipa mai (please come and visit Maui). As a kānaka (Native Hawaiian) living on Maui, we are now here protecting the cultural landscape and our po‘e (people) of Lāhainā, Kā‘anapali and Nāpili. But, Maui is open in Kīhei, Wailea, Hāna, Wailuku, and Kahului. Small business owners and my loved ones in hospitality depend on tourism, as it is a huge part of Maui’s economic growth. You visiting Maui helps put food on our tables and clothes on our children’s backs. Please come. ‘Āmama, ua noa (it’s a blessing to have you). Please come with humility, love, and aloha during these trying times. Maui is not closed – just the west side is. We are open.”  

Where can you travel to Maui right now? 

While visitors should continue to avoid West Maui (Lāhainā, Nāpili, Kā‘anapali, and Kapalua), other areas of Maui including Kahului, Wailuku, Kīhei, Wailea, Mākena, and Hāna, and the other Hawaiian Islands, like Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, and Hawaiʻi Island remain open and safe. 

Please have compassion and mālama (care for) the island during your stay and support local Maui businesses while giving Lāhainā and the surrounding areas the space they need to heal and recover.  

If you are traveling to Maui, avoid the affected/boxed areas shown on the map.  Other areas of the island, such as Kahului, Wailuku, Kīhei, Wailea, Mākena, Pāʻia and Hāna as well as the other islands, are safe for travelers. HAWAII TOURISM AUTHORITY  

“We ask that people please not travel to the area affected by the disaster in West Maui until further notice, except for returning residents and authorized emergency relief workers. However, all other areas of Maui and the rest of Hawai‘i are safe and open to visitors, and we continue to welcome and encourage travel to our beautiful state, which will support the local economy and help speed the recovery of those who have already suffered so much.”

– Governor Josh Green said Friday, August 18, 2023 in a press conference

Maui still needs your help.  

We are so grateful for the efforts of all our nonprofit partners who’ve been working on the ground to provide much-needed support to local communities. Here are three remarkable organizations we’re supporting, and encourage you to consider contributing to: 

Kanu Hawai‘i and Maui Rapid Response are leading an effort to relocate displaced Maui residents while they work to rebuild what they have lost. We’ve contributed 5 million miles to this program and will also match the first 1 million miles donated by Mileage Plan members through August 31. 

The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement’s (CNHA) Kāko‘o Maui fund will directly support community-driven relief efforts on Maui. CNHA’s mission is to enhance the cultural, economic, political and community development of Native Hawaiians. The Alaska Airlines Foundation, together with Alaska employees and our company’s employee Matching Gift program, have pledged more than $100,000 to this campaign over the past few days. 

Airlink is coordinating relief supplies and travel for first responders to support immediate recovery efforts on Maui. Alaska has also donated 1.5 million miles to enable their work. 

Volunteer on Maui

If you’d like to help volunteer while on Maui, consider reaching out to one or more of the following: Maui Food BankMaui Rapid ResponseCommon Ground CollectiveMaui Humane Society, or any of the non-profits and organizations, including those endorsed by the County of Maui, on the Maui Nui Strong website.