David J. Danto
Business travel thoughts in my own, personal opinion
Paradise On Fire – August 2023
I’m very sad this morning. Paradise is on fire. Of the many beautiful places I’ve visited on this planet, there are none more beautiful than the Hawaiian island of Maui.
The news coming in on CNN is horrific. Over 50 people dead, people jumping into the ocean to escape the fire, residents and tourists on Lahaina stuck – unable to get out over the one main road, fire and damage scenes looking like a war zone, power outages, devastated areas, etc.
I’ve written recently about how terrible this summer has been for travel and for the planet, and this is just more evidence. It’s believed that a passing hurricane (Dora) kicked-up strong winds to help the fire spread faster than anyone could have imagined. Add to that the fact that many areas of Hawaii are dry and in drought conditions, and you have the formula for the crisis that we are seeing unfold.
It is especially hard to see these images and read these stories because of so many great experiences I personally had in the area. My wife and I have been there a number of times, and have amazing memories, including seeing the sunrise on Haleakalā, enjoying the beautiful resorts, and stopping at the many gorgeous panoramas.
Maui has been as close to paradise as we’ve been able to get on this planet. I can’t effectively put into words how sad it is to watch this area be devastated – especially for a place where the economy relies so much on tourism. Telling people to stay away (as they are doing now) to avoid the disaster is doubly horrible for the people of the area.
James Tokioka, director of Hawaii’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, at a news conference on Wednesday asked that tourists not cancel plans for long-awaited trips to Hawaii, but rather change their destination from Maui to other parts of the state that are open and safe. There is a legitimate fear that the devastation will keep people away and do as much damage to the local economy as the fires are doing to the land, homes and stores.
If you’d like to help, the local government has listed a number of places where donations are being accepted. These include the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation Maui Strong Fund and The Maui United Way. Please give what you can if you can.
This article was written by David Danto and contains solely his own, personal opinions.
All image and links provided above as reference under prevailing fair use statutes.
Copyright 2023 David Danto
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