Amid Lahaina tragedy, elite tourist staying at "White Lotus" hotel demand fun

After the devastating fires that destroyed the town of Lahaina and killed over 100 people, wealthy tourists staying in undamaged areas of Maui are continuing to demand activities while recovery efforts are underway.

This BBC article contrasts the insulated tourist areas like Wailea that were hardly affected, with the reality locals faced after losing homes and possessions. This highlights the disparity between "two Hawaiis" — one catering to wealthy visitors, the other where locals struggled.

The BBC interviewed an employee at the Four Seasons Maui, the hotel where the first season of The White Lotus was shot. Rooms there range from $845 to $25,000 per night.

Staff told the BBC that many of the guests were sympathetic to the crisis on the west of the island. Others had complained about scheduled activities in Lahaina – horse-riding, ziplining – being cancelled, said Brittany Pounder, 34, an employee at the Four Seasons.

The day after the fires, one guest visiting from California, asked if he could still get to his dinner reservation at the Lahaina Grill – a restaurant in one of the hardest-hit areas of the town. "It's not OK," Ms Pounder said.

"You're kind of raised to hate tourists," one young hotel worker told BBC. "But that's really the only way to work on the islands. If it's not hospitality then it's construction."