HONOLULU (NEWSnet/AP) — Most of West Maui will reopen to travelers Oct. 8, under a proclamation signed Friday by Hawai'i Gov. Josh Green.

Nonessential travel to much of the island's western coastline has been discouraged since wildfires in August.

State tourism officials had urged travelers to stay away from Maui so residents and agencies could focus on emergency response efforts and supporting those displaced by the fires.

In mid-August, officials began to encourage tourists to return to other parts of Maui, avoiding the burn zone, to spend money to help the region recover.

The number of visitors arriving on Maui sank about 70% after the Aug. 8 fire, to 2,000 per day, and only half of the available hotel rooms there are occupied, said Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association president Mufi Hannemann. Airlines have begun to offer significant discounts on flights to Hawaii, and some resorts have slashed room rates by 20%.

Copyright 2023 NEWSnet and The Associated Press. All rights reserved.