March 12, 2020 (Updated 3/13/2020)
Travel is in our human DNA. Whether we are exploring our own community or someplace a few states away, we travel to reconnect with each other and ourselves. Even though our attractions, museums, breweries, wineries, restaurants, retailers, etc. may not be open for exploration, many employees at these businesses are hard at work behind the scenes.
They’re repurposing to provide needed supplies for this unprecedented health crisis, such as hand sanitizers. They’re creating lesson plans for teachers and parents who are educating our youth. They’re developing virtual tours and other ways to give us all a much-needed reprieve from today’s news. They’re providing carryout and delivery, and they’re selling passes and certificates to get you excited about future adventures.
The travel economy has been hit hard, but it will rebound, and it will be a vital part of economic recovery. Nine percent of Ohio’s workforce depends on travel, and travelers spend approximately $46 billion when they visit Ohio communities.
It’s not just the travel businesses who are at risk right now, however. It’s the accountants, office supply companies, manufacturers, agricultural producers, engineers, media outlets and dozens of other suppliers that do business with travel businesses that are also impacted. It’s the local, state and federal tax dollars that are lost - revenue that’s needed to fund teachers and schools, fire and police protection, roads and other public services. It’s the loss of personal income for many of our 429,000 Ohio workers, income that supports families.
We shall get through this by working together, creating new ways to experience Ohio’s stories and places, and inspiring each other and our guests. Yes, many of us are still working, doing what we can to book future business and readying ourselves for the days ahead when our work today will speed recovery tomorrow.
But right now, we are hunkered down as we all should be doing, protecting the health of our employees, neighbors and visitors. We miss you and can’t wait to see you again soon.
Executive Director, Ohio Travel Association