The pandemic impact on the travel and tourism industry has been devastating.
Here in Pennsylvania, the financial numbers are staggering.
One of Centre County’s best known event the Memorial day festivities here in Boalsburg the home of Memorial day cancelled once again this year, due to the pandemic. State lawmakers Today getting a first hand look at the covid impact
on the state’s tourism industry
Centre County like many counties, has a hotel tax an added fee on hotel-motel bills that generates revenue thats annually distributed to a host of non profit events that generate their own tourism revenue. In the past year, the
hotel tax in Centre County took a direct hit
“We lost 60 million dollars in hotel tax revenue.in a normal year we would collect a little over 80 million, so almost three quarters of our revenue is gone”
Thats the CEO of the Happy Valley Adventure Bureau, Centre County’s tourism marketing bureau. The county’s hotel-motel occupancy rate in for the past year, 28 percent-one of the lowest rates in the state
“The economy here is very much dominated by Penn state.when they shut down last spring,it had a devastating effect,almost two thirds of the visits to this county,and hotel stays here are tied to Penn State”
Other tourism marketing execs telling lawmakers Tuesday similar stories of financial stress. An economic expert testifying,the industry is now lagging in terms of bouncing back
“You can see the latest data point we have is in march and consumer spending is up 12 percent, mainly due to federal covid relief money.however if we look at restaurants and hotels,its a different story,relative to January 2020,
that spending is down 9 percent”
One factor in slowing the recovery finding employees to fill the now open jobs
The travel and tourism industry remains one of the state’s largest industries,not only in terms of jobs, but also the financial impact.