A popular travel destination featuring sandy beaches, world-renowned surfing, Haleakala volcano and rainforests, Maui relies mainly on tourism and is struggling to cope with growing numbers of visitors and development. Maui's natural beauty diminishes each year, as undeveloped beaches and forests are bulldozed to make way for pricey resorts, chain stores, upscale planned communities and sterile golf courses, built to satisfy demands from tourists, developers and their clients. The growth has been largely unregulated, leading to an unbalanced economic system throughout, where prices for housing, food, gas and utilities are very high compared to the rest of the U.S., to garner money from tourists, and wages are extremely low, leading to poverty and crime.
A marketing version of the Hawaiian culture has been used as an advertising ploy to help create Maui's thriving economy, while the local people struggle to survive on subsistence wages. A shortage of drinkable water, affordable housing and opportunity plague members of the population who would be middle-class if they lived anywhere else, but can't afford to move or won't leave the home they love.
Maui's position of being a favored luxury travel destination has led to opportunities for unscrupulous investors, money-hungry real estate agents and numerous profiteers, while the land and rivers have become heavily polluted with industrial waste from agribusinesses, insufficient recycling and garbage disposal and human waste from unregulated dumping, just offshore. However, fine dining, immaculate accommodations and luxury amenities are readily available on Maui, making this a premier vacation destination, for those who can afford it and don't mind the rest.
"Man, Sarah looks bad after that plastic surgery she had. She was beautiful before. Now she's gone and Maui'ed herself."