MAUI, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- The devastating wildfires that ravaged the Hawaiian island of Maui were a bitter blow to the island's tourism industry as Maui has seen a sharp drop in tourists since the catastrophe happened.
The wildfires starting on Aug. 8 are the deadliest ones in the United States in more than a century, and the worst natural disaster in Hawaii's history, claiming the lives of at least 115 people.
The blaze has scorched much of the historic town of Lahaina, a popular tourist spot on Maui and once the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii.
Officials in Hawaii have urged tourists to avoid traveling to Maui in the wake of the disaster, as many hotel rooms were secured to house thousands of displaced residents and first responders.
Most inbound flights have seen only less than half occupancy.
According to report, prior to Aug. 8, there were 6,000-7,500 domestic arrivals daily to the second-largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. However, the number dropped to as low as 1,567 on Aug. 12, and in more recent days, daily domestic arrivals hovered above 2,000.
The tourism industry is Maui's economic engine. It accounts for 80 percent of the island's wealth, according to the Maui Economic Development Board.
Produced by Xinhua Global Service