As states weigh lifting restrictions amid coronavirus, nation's capital (and tourism) won't reopen yet

07 May 2020 10:23 AM
States could be weighing lifting restrictions therefore of coronavirus, however the nation's capital Washington, D.C., isn't opening up anytime soon - therefore its tourism won't rebound yet either.

Despite social distancing restrictions, only twelve states are showing a decrease in coronavirus cases. Meanwhile, influential models are predicting higher death tolls that surpass 110,000 by the finish of June and 130,000 by August.

A lot more than 5,400 persons have tested positive for coronavirus in D.C., and 277 have died as of Tuesday, according to city data.

The city, just like the rest of the U.S. and around the world, has also felt the economic ramifications of the virus. This past year, 22.8 million domestic visitors found D.C. (record attendance), there was $8.2 billion in spending and $896 million in taxes made from travel and tourism, Elliott Ferguson, president and CEO of Destination DC and national chair of the U.S. Travel Association, said during a press conference Wednesday.

As a result of the pandemic, Ferguson said that visitor spending is down significantly: The city has lost over $1.7 billion in travel spending as a result of crisis, a 71% decline from where it ought to be. Nearly $80 million in taxes normally produced have been lost, as well.

About 60% of restaurants are operating in the town, bringing in less than 20% of normal sales, Mayor Muriel Bowser said. No more than half of hotels are open in the town, plus they are operating between 5% and 10% of their normal capacity. These numbers are even more below hotels in all of those other country, which also aren't successful; according to data firm STR, hotel occupancy stood at 26% the week of April 19 to 25.

Recovery, of course, is tied to consumer confidence.

When the timing is right, Destination DC will continue to promote DC as a destination domestically and internationally. Ferguson said that for every dollar the district spends on promoting itself, there is over a $3 profits on return linked with marketing. "Promoting a destination like Washington especially now could be more important than ever before," Ferguson said.

One benefit metropolis can promote over many others: 100 free things the location provides, from national monuments to free Smithsonian museums including the National Zoo, Ferguson said. He also said the Eisenhower Memorial is defined to open this September. 

Bowser said there might be different recommendations for each and every Smithsonian when they do reopen and that the National Zoo is probably the first places she really wants to visit. She expects there to become a strategy in spot to keep persons from crowding monuments and memorials; many remain open.

Bowser said it will be a slow go back to normal regarding activity in large venues.

Ferguson said that Destination DC has been around touch with the Smithsonian Institution about plans they have set up, and the museum group  is internally discussing how to proceed. Destination DC wants to make certain protective measures like social distancing don't become a deterrent for tourists.

Washington, D.C., carries the perception of an eternity destination for monuments and museums, Ferguson said, but metropolis wants visitors to know how diverse it is as a tourist spot, with theater, nightlife and restaurants on top of that.

Reopening the town, whenever that may be, could give a fresh possibility to remind people of that. "The reopening gives a good new spin from what Destination DC does with that story each day," Bowser said.