The shocking devastation of a popular tourist destination

August 11, 2023, 11:08 AM

As a publisher who covers the travel industry, I want to take a moment to note - and mourn - the loss of one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, along with dozens of its residents and, perhaps, visitors.

If you have been following the general news over the past day, you might have seen reports describing the wildfires that burned the town of Lahaina, on the island of Maui in Hawaii. Once the capital of Hawaii, Lahaina welcomes an estimated two million visitors a year, making it a beloved destination for countless travelers over the years.

No, there's no theme park there, but I did write from Lahaina several years ago, in post covering its attractions - - so perhaps the town might be familiar to long-time Theme Park Insider readers who never have visited Hawaii.

What has happened this week in Lahaina is a horror. More than 50 people have been killed, at latest count, by wildfires that swept across western Maui, incinerating much of Lahaina. Some people had to flee into the ocean to escape the flames and smoke. Landmarks, attractions, shops, and homes have burned, essentially destroying Lahaina as so many people have known it.

Reading and watching this news has been a shock. The death toll confirms that many did not escape, so wishes that people would be spared seem futile. But at least I hope that the toll will not rise more and that the community of Lahaina can recover, in whatever way they choose. I hope that those affected soon find the all comfort and support that they will need.

Replies (1)

August 15, 2023, 7:25 AM

Tragedies , particularly of this magnitude, certainly make you focus on the truly important things in our lives.
We can't fail to be moved by such devastation and something that seems to be so powerful and beyond our control once it starts.
We might all just take a step back and think about some of the things that we consider to be important and realise that they are often meaningless by comparison.
Our hearts go out to all the people of Maui.

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