Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
As the area’s official destination marketing organization, Visit Luzerne County understands the role tourism will play in our area’s rebound from the effects of COVID-19. With an economic impact of $989 million in 2018 and more than 7,000 jobs dependent on the visitors who come to Luzerne County, we want to ensure that the businesses and our partners in tourism have the tools they need to recover once the this current health crisis is behind us. To do this we are partnering with the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce and DiscoverNEPA to create one site full of resources for our industry partners, so we can once again be ready to show visitors and locals what a great place Luzerne County is to visit, live and work.
NEPA WORKING TOGETHER
For the latest COVID 19 updates a community partnership was formed to provide the information for our neighbors, businesses and partners. Click here to access this collaborative resource guide to unite us together during these times.
RESOURCES FOR COMMUNITY SUPPORT
The Economic Impact to the Tourism Industry
Worst of Travel Jobs Catastrophe Will Hit in Next Six Weeks
A new analysis released Tuesday by the U.S. Travel Association projects that decreased travel due to coronavirus will inflict an $809 billion total hit on the U.S. economy and eliminate 4.6 million travel-related American jobs this year.
The dire impact numbers, prepared for the U.S. Travel Association by Tourism Economics, were presented by U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow at a Tuesday White House meeting with President Trump, Vice President Pence, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and other travel leaders.
“The health crisis has rightly occupied the public’s and government’s attention, but a resulting catastrophe for employers and employees is already here and going to get worse,” Dow said Tuesday. “Travel-related businesses employ 15.8 million Americans, and if they can’t afford to keep their lights on, they can’t afford to keep paying their employees. Without aggressive and immediate disaster relief steps, the recovery phase is going to be much longer and more difficult, and the lower rungs of the economic ladder are going to feel the worst of it.”
Dow noted that 83% of travel employers are small businesses.
Other notable findings in the travel impact analysis:
- Total spending on travel in the U.S.— transportation, lodging, retail, attractions and restaurants—is projected to plunge by $355 billion for the year, or 31%. That is more than six times the impact of 9/11.
- The estimated losses by the travel industry alone are severe enough to push the U.S. into a protracted recession—expected to last at least three quarters, with Q2 2020 being the low point.
- The projected 4.6 million travel-related jobs lost would, by themselves, nearly double the U.S. unemployment rate (3.5% to 6.3%).
“This situation is completely without precedent,” Dow said. “For the sake of the economy’s long-term health, employers and employees need relief now from this disaster that was created by circumstances completely out of their control.”
At the Tuesday White House meeting, Dow urged the administration to consider $150 billion in overall relief for the broader travel sector. Among the suggested mechanisms:
- Establish a Travel Workforce Stabilization Fund
- Provide an Emergency Liquidity Facility for travel businesses
- Optimize and modify SBA loan programs to support small businesses and their employees.
- The Economic Impact of the Coronavirus Due to Travel Losses - Full report
PARTNER TO PARTNER INFORMATION
Destination Management Organizations like Visit Luzerne County, work with multiple tourism organizations that provide destinations with information such as; best practices, marketing, legislation, finances and much. Below is a a listing of industry experts links where resources for a variety of hospitality partners can be found. These organizations are providing very important crisis information for all aspects of the tourism industry.
Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association
The Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association strives to promote, protect, and improve the hospitality and tourism industries in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Right now, PEMA and FEMA are working to collect information from hotels interested in offering their lodging for lease should they be needed in this crisis. Below see links to get your information to these agencies:
National Restaurant Association
The National Restaurant Association is the largest foodservice trade association in the world. We represent and advocate on behalf of more than 500,000 restaurant businesses.
Destinations International’s number one goal is to give our members the tools they need, which includes accurate and up-to-date information as it pertains to the effects of coronavirus on the travel, tourism and meetings industry.
US Travel Association
U.S. Travel is the leading force that grows and sustains travel and protects the freedom to travel. Our efforts are focused on achieving our shared vision for the industry: Travel is understood as essential to the economy, American jobs, security, image and well-being of the United States and travelers.