The Coronavirus pandemic has grown into a global health crisis since it first surfaced in November of 2019. Borders have subsequently been closed, events cancelled, and self-quarantine orders were issued on a mass scale, the tourism industry, as well as most other sectors were instantly adversely impacted.
According to the U.S. Travel Association and the research firm Tourism Economics COVID 19 will be nine times more impactful to the travel industry than 9/11. Travel industry losses will result in GDP impact of $1.2 trillion in 2020.
Destination Analysts reported that Americans look likely to prioritize staying safe from infection, even over making money and their emotional well-being, and thus want to see businesses provide hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and well-explained cleaning procedures.
Regionally tourism is our 4th largest industry segment and while our economy is not tourism dependent, it is enhanced with the additional revenues collected. The local tourism economic recovery has started slowly with hotel occupancy beginning to pick up as school is officially out and this is traditionally the time for travel.
Tourism revenue in Chelan County is the highest per capita in the state. Our neighbors offer world class travel experiences and being in the center of the state of Washington positions us well for in-state travel to a place not too familiar but close enough for a comfortable and approachable scenery changes and outdoor activities.
Local tourism drivers including Ohme Gardens, Town Toyota Center, the Convention Center and other attractions and events such as the Fourth of July Celebration, local fairs and concerts that have been cancelled have experienced financial losses that not only impact their own businesses but impact the local economy significantly. Jobs lost in hotels and restaurants alone amounted to over 1224 people.
Support of individual experts in Hospitality such as Marriott and their “We Care” promise has trickled out into the community as we continue to position ourselves to reopen to our friends, families, and visitors. Our 2100 acres of trails and our affinity for outdoor recreation has not only helped our community through to this point but will continue to be our tipping point. We thank the Chelan Douglas Land Trust for that legacy and more. Wenatchee Valley TREAD, which will be launching an App this summer that will provide users real time information about the status of particular trails such as safety closures, early openings and full parking lots while also delivering up alternatives that are safe and close by.
It is certainly easier than ever to be confused and conflicted about what is the best way to protect our loved ones, neighbors, and friends, whether that means wearing a mask or limiting our distance. You, your safety, and health are important to us and whether you live here, work next to us, or are visiting from afar and we are committed to that. Please get outside and see for yourself how special this place is and help us take care of it. When it is available, download the WVTREAD app. We are ready to meet you where you are, so when you are ready, we are ready.