I have been in the Tourism Industry for many years and it's great to know when people are enjoying their stays and explorations.
I share history, offer friendly advise, suggestions for safe adventures, and protocol for visiting areas, while also respecting the aina we call home.
I think it's only fair to let folks know that once again, illegal vacation rentals are on the rise on Maui, and that could spell problems for Guests during our high season.
Maui went through tough stuff in order to craft and enforce policies and regulations about vacation rentals, and bed and breakfasts. Heated debates finally ended up with something that everyone could live with, and that the County and State would benefit from in Visitor's room tax.
I was seriously one of the very first bed and breakfast on Maui, and I went through the wringer as bills were crafted and the issue was addressed and hashed out. There was fear and tension about how this "new" industry would affect the quality of living on our island.
The large hotels were the only show in town for many years, and a new industry meant venturing into the unknown.
The legalization process was so cumbersome, that many chose to continue to operate without licenses. It has since been streamlined and clarified and people can apply now, and licenses are still being issued to those who fit the criteria.
A few on -line booking sites have become popular world wide, and with that popularity, a host of issues have arisen. They get their cut and have no investment in the community and really do not care whether a host is legal or not.
Our County Council, and most recently, State Tax Dept. have taken notice of this growing problem with council members citing " it is unfair to legal permitted operations who pay taxes, and also cuts into our long term rental pools".
Because the council and state are taking issue now, there will likely be enforcement starting up again in the near future, and it would be really unfair for a Visitor to pay the price.
A few years ago, a previous Mayor worked on shutting down all the illegal vacation rentals after it had been allowed to go on for several years, and it was very harsh for all involved, as folks were counting on the income to offset their payments.
Guests who had no idea what was happening, had to scramble for accommodations during their stay or close to their arrival.
Maui did not look very welcoming ,and that was a sad state of affairs.
If you want to get more information about this subject, check out the Maui News. you may have to subscribe online in order to do so.
So, if you are planning a visit to the Valley Isle, and want a different experience from the hotels or condos , for your own peace of mind, please make sure the accommodations are licensed.
Here's to having a smooth and relaxing vacation on Maui.
We look forward to your visit.