In the old Broadway musical "Guys and Dolls," gambler Nicely Nicely Johnson has a dream where he is on a boat to Heaven.
He discovers he has brought a pair of dice with him and tries to start a game of craps. His fellow passengers on their way to Heaven admonish him, "Sit down, you're rockin' the boat."
Every year, when we hear critics of the Maui Visitor Bureau urging cuts in the amount that entity receives from the county, we are reminded of Nicely Nicely's song. Because if there is one boat that doesn't need rocking in Maui's economy, it is the visitor industry.
The visitor industry is a very competitive one. Yes, we have a fine product to sell - but we have to get out there and sell it. To use another analogy, we have to "cast our nets upon the waters" if we want to catch any fish. There are a lot of other destinations that have cast their nets.
By all measurements we can discern, the MVB is very successful. Tourism is the only part of our economy that has come roaring back since the recession. To be blunt, to change our tactics now would be foolhardy.
The visitor industry employs our friends and neighbors. Right now, it is employing a lot of them. Its continued success will trickle down throughout the economy and eventually lead a rebound in retail, real estate and construction.
So, to those who would cut MVB, we'd simply say, "Sit down, you're rockin' the boat."
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.