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An employee at the Four Seasons Maui, where ‘The White Lotus’ was shot, says tourists were complaining about canceled activities and asked about a dinner reservation at a restaurant that had burned down


The Four Seasons Maui in Hawaii.Christian Horan

  • Tourists to Maui, Hawaii, have been criticized since fires ravaged the island last week.

  • Staff at resorts told the BBC some guests were sympathetic, while others complained.

  • Many have encouraged tourists to stay away from Maui, but others say they need their business.

When tourists to Hawaii had their vacations interrupted last week as fires ravaged Maui, killing at least 110 people, some took it better than others.

Staff at resorts in Wailea, a high-end area of the island that was not hit by fires, told the BBC many of their guests were understanding about the devastation that was playing out some 30 miles west in historic Lahaina, where businesses and homes were burnt to the ground.

But others were less sympathetic, according to Brittany Pounder, a 34-year-old employee at the Four Seasons — the luxury resort where the first season of “The White Lotus” was filmed. She told the outlet some guests complained about excursions being canceled, such as horseback riding and zip lining.

The day after much of Lahaina’s downtown was razed to the ground, a tourist from California even asked about making his dinner reservation at Lahaina Grill, a fine-dining restaurant located in the heart of the historic downtown, Pounder told the BBC.

The Lahaina Grill was among the restaurants that burned down. The restaurant has launched a GoFundMe to raise money that it says will go directly to its staff for necessary resources and relocation. More than 40 of Lahaina Grill’s employees “lost everything” in the fires, according to the page.

Tourists have come under fire for their behavior since the fires. One Hawaiian woman previously told the BBC that tourists were swimming and snorkeling in the same waters that people died in just days before, adding, “that says a lot about where their heart and mind is through all of this and where our heart and mind is.”

Some have urged tourists not to come to Maui and cancel their planned trips, including Jason Momoa, a Native Hawaiian and actor, and Hawaii residents.

But others are worried that discouraging people from visiting Maui could cause more problems for locals and businesses whose livelihoods depend on tourism.

“What I’m afraid of is that if people keep seeing ‘Maui’s closed’, and ‘don’t come to Maui’, what little business is left is going to be gone,” Daniel Kalahiki, owner of the food truck Like Poke, told the BBC, adding sales had already plummeted since the fires. “And then the island is going to lose everything.”

The Four Seasons Maui did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Read the original article on Insider





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