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Maui Bans Tours, Lessons In Beach Parks On Sundays, Holidays

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WAILUKU — Maui will prohibit commercial activity in parks on Sunday and official holidays.

The island’s Parks and Recreation Department said the changes to commercial permits will take place in about a month and reduce damage to parks, The Maui News reported Thursday.

Commercial permits cover surfing, kayaking, scuba diving, windsurfing and kiteboarding lessons, as well as snorkeling tours.

“The demand on county parks has grown in recent years, as has the resident and visitor numbers,” permits officer Lisa Almeida said during a public hearing Tuesday.

The changes will prohibit commercial activities on holidays recognized by the federal and state governments.

Those include New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and others. The list also includes Hawaii holidays such as Prince Kuhio Day and Kamehameha Day.

The changes and public hearing followed televised comments Mayor Michael Victorino made in August announcing his intention to limit commercial activity in parks on Sundays and holidays.

“Our residents are feeling very pressured, even when they go to their beaches,” Victorino said. “They feel like they are pressured because they can’t get on their beaches because it is inundated by commercial activities and as well as tourists using our beaches.”

In July, the Maui County Council banned all commercial activity at Hanakaoo Beach Park.

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