Tourism Season Is Here: Let’s Make Fact Based Decisions

A coalition of 150 travel-related organizations, including the U.S. Travel Association, Visit North Carolina and N.C. Restaurant & Lodging Assn., has issued a statement offering “Make Fact-Based Decisions About Traveling. It concerns the latest developments about the coronavirus and safety concerns but also a reminder “for the overwhelming majority, it’s OK to live, work, play and travel in the U.S.” The statement reads:

“For the travel and hospitality industry, the safety of the traveling public, our guests and our employees is of the utmost importance. We are in daily contact with public health authorities and are acting on the most up-to-date information on the evolving coronavirus situation.

“Health and government officials have continually assured the public that healthy Americans can ‘confidently travel in this country.’ While it’s critically important to remain vigilant and take useful precautions in times like these, it’s equally important to make calm, rational, and fact-based decisions.

“Though the headlines may be worrisome, experts continue to say the overall coronavirus risk in the U.S. remains low. At-risk groups are older individuals and those with underlying health conditions, who should take extra precautions.

“The latest expert guidance indicates that for the overwhelming majority, it’s OK to live, work, play and travel in the U.S. By seeking and heeding the latest expert guidance – which includes vigorous use of good health practices, similar to the preventive steps recommended for the seasonal flu – America’s communities will stay strong and continue to thrive. The decision to cancel travel and events has a trickle-down effect that threatens to harm the U.S. economy, from locally owned hotels, restaurants, travel advisors and tour operators to the service and frontline employees who make up the backbone of the travel industry and the American economy.

“We are mindful of a guiding principle that long predates this current public health situation: without the safety and security of travelers, there can be no travel. The travel industry will maintain lines of contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services, and will remain vigilant for any changes. Collectively, we are taking enhanced steps to ensure both the safety of travelers, guests and our own employees.”

Read the statement and view the supporting travel-related organizations here.

NCRLA has created an online Coronavirus Resource Center for Hospitality Businesses that contains webinars with Practical Tutorials for Employers plus Restaurant- and Lodging-Specific Resources.

The Chamber has been in communication with the state tourism office to coordinate information dissemination as well as to collaboarte with the state tourism staff on best ways to continue our marketing efforts during this time while being sensitive to the issues the State is facing. The State tourism office officials concur that we are in a favorable position for marketing at this time with our messaging with an  emphasis on the fact that we are easy to drive to, offer plenty of ways to experience nature and get away from the crowds. We will be adding more marketing and advertising to the mix for the Spring and Summer in those areas within a 2-3 hour drive time.

We encourage you visit the online resources from the North Carolina Restauarant and Lodging Association which includes information for lodging establishments, restaurants, and tutorials for employers.

As we manuever through this time, let’s remember to support local businesses who may experience a loss of business, bookings, reservations, etc. during this time. Support our community by supporting our businesses.