Some residents seem to forget that 75 percent of all jobs on Maui are directly or indirectly related to the visitor industry. They either believe we have too many tourists or everybody already knows about Maui so we don't have to spend any money to promote tourism to our island. Reality check: No tourists, no jobs. Plain and simple. If we experience a drop in visitors, businesses will fire people. Reduced revenue equals reduced staff.
The Maui Visitors Bureau has come under fire recently for allegedly receiving too much taxpayer money and not being transparent enough. MVB is doing a great job increasing visitors to our island. These are taxpayer funds well spent. Tourists are paying everyone's salary.
As for the complaint that MVB shouldn't be spending so much to promote Maui, that same logic says that Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Toyota and Apple should reduce their advertising because everybody already knows who they are. It doesn't work that way. Vacationers need constant Maui reminders.
We also need to reach new travelers - folks in their 20s, who will be making their first vacation choices that could very well bring them back to Maui every year for the rest of their lives.
We need to support the efforts of the MVB and not vilify them. All of our jobs and the health of our island, like it not, are totally dependent on our visitor industry. If we get smug and complacent and reduce our promotional footprint, vacationers will, assuredly, go elsewhere.