Tourist Spot

Dodgy T&L Hawaii item misses the mark

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Maui travel and recreation (T&L) first time writer/tourist writes all about $2500+ overnight accommodations, fails to mention wildlife he snorkels with is in danger or issues regarding the Road to Hana he recommends and flies southwest to get here. Hmmm. Weird juxtapositions for sure, especially coming from the once revered T&L.

Regular commentator Lee T said, “I’ve met more first-time travelers to Hawaii recently than I have in the past 40 years. American culture is becoming more and more demanding and authoritative and not just for tourists to Hawaii. People are more exposed to short-term gratification rather than taking the time to learn about the culture and people in the areas they are visiting. Hawaii drives a wedge between tourists and locals with their extra tourist-only fees. You don’t get that when you travel to the United States. The influx of new residents to Hawaii is also changing the culture of the islands. Less grace and aloha because some of these new inhabitants bring wacky attitudes with them. Hopefully more tourists and new locals will be “conquered” and embrace Hawaiian culture and aloha. »

The T&L article, which we saw right after reading Lee’s comment, caught our attention, but unfortunately, for all the wrong reasons. It was written by William Curtis, whose T&L credentials state that he “is an avid traveler who studied languages ​​in college, largely because of the promise of a year abroad.” It was certainly his first trip to Hawaii.

We don’t even know what the point of the article was, as it’s mostly an infomercial for the high end Kapalua Bay fitment rather than almost anything related to the Maui experience. The author does not specify whether or not he paid for his stay there, but from our reading, we assume he did not. It also struck us as odd that while staying in a 2-bedroom suite that starts at over $2,500/night, the author flew economy-focused Southwest Airlines from Los Angeles to Maui.

Again, without ever indicating whether the stay at Montage was paid for or not, the author simply stated: “We were fortunate enough to stay at Montage Kapalua Bay, and one of the Cadillacs in the fleet of the hotel was waiting for our arrival.”

Why should you care if the writer received a free stay?

Concrete example. When we did our recent flight reviews of Alaska, the Southwest, and Hawaii, we paid for our trip by buying tickets online and didn’t tell the airlines we were coming. This way we felt we could write an honest review of our experiences. When free trips and stays are offered, we think you lose credibility because it’s hard to be objective. We also note that famed travel writer Andrew Doughty keeps his identity hidden so that his Kauai Revealed books and others can be unbiased.

“An hour spent slowly following a family of turtles having breakfast.

We’ll skip all the excessive accolades for Kapalua (we’re still scratching our heads about the southwest connection) because what caught our attention was for one thing was the part about snorkeling with the turtles. “An hour spent slowly following a family of turtles having breakfast. Followed by more accolades or advertising content that appears under the old T&L that we had a lot of respect for.

A budget may not have been an issue other than the Southwest experience. “Our breakfast favorites included Lobster Eggs Benedict and the homemade granola served from a famous local Maui Gold pineapple.”

Staying ultra high-end, the Montage guest said: “We indulged in what is, for me, one of the real strengths of the Montage guest program: the experience of a chef at residence.”

The article ends with: “You can take one of the hotel’s new Cadillacs to a local surf spot or explore the famous Road to Hana.

Our questions:

1. We can’t imagine writing an article about snorkeling with turtles without even mentioning their federal and state protected status and the fact that they are endangered. Or how to behave appropriately with turtles in Hawaii. Lack of awareness regarding Hawaii’s wildlife leads to incidents like this, where a visitor to Hawaii picked up an endangered green sea turtle.

Getting close to these animals may be a federal or state violation if the animal is disturbed or if your action has the potential to disrupt its natural behavioral patterns. NOAA and DLNR recommend, for your safety and the protection of the animals, that everyone stay at least 10 feet (3 meters) away from all sea turtles. — Hawaii DLNR.

2. While writing about the road trip to Hana, it is also important to mention that the road is plagued with multiple issues that visitors should be aware of before traveling there.

This summer, no parking signs were installed at seven popular stops on the route. This was because visitor cars parked on the freeway, causing traffic to rumble on the narrow, winding road for years. The parking ban should be noted at the following locations: Bamboo Forest, Ching Pond, Hanawi Stream Bridge, Puaa Kaa Park, Twin Falls, Waikamoi Stream Bridge, and Waikani Stream Bridge.

The Maui Fire Department said rescues in those areas, particularly Bamboo Forest, have been reduced by no-parking signage, among other things. They also said they do not tolerate recreational trespassing and strongly recommend that hikers stay on marked, open trails.

Visitors to these areas should exercise caution, do not park before or after the no parking sign, and do not walk on the narrow and dangerous highway.

Also, at Twin Falls, there is now a limit on parking availability and the number of daily visitors.

How important is this topic to you?

If you know the travel writer received free trips, does that make you more likely to question their reviews? Mahalo for his comments below.

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