Jun 27, 2020 - Health

AP: Tourism boards encourage travelers to stay away during pandemic

People sit in the water on a beach and play in the waves
People at Sandy Hook beach in New Jersey on June 26. Photo: Kena Betancur/VIEWpress/Corbis via Getty Images

Some state and city tourism officials have rearranged their summer marketing plans to keep potential visitors away as the coronavirus pandemic persists, AP reports.

The big picture: Overall travel spending in the U.S. is expected to drop by 45% by the end of 2020, according to the U.S. Travel Association's June forecast. A $389 billion loss in spending for domestic travel compared to last year is expected.

What they're saying: “We want people to keep Virginia in mind, but we don’t necessarily want a ton of people flooding our state right now,” Lindsey Norment, brand director at Virginia Tourism, told AP. “That’s a hurdle I never expected to face in tourism: What if we don’t want people here?”

  • “'Staycation' has been part of vacation lingo for a while, but now there’s also the notion of “safecations,” Sara Otte-Coleman, North Dakota's director of tourism and marketing, told AP.
  • “There is no marketing template or operational template for what we’re going through,” Glenn Eden, chair of the tourism group Choose Chicago's board of directors, told AP. “We want to be viewed as an intelligent and socially responsible destination that visitors can trust.”

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