Economic Relief Updates
GRANTS FOR HOTELS, ENTERTAINMENT VENUES, RESTAURANTS, SMALL BUSINESSES, FAIRS AND OTHERS SIGNED INTO LAW.
This week, Governor DeWine signed two bills into effect that will provide much-needed relief for many in the Ohio travel economy. OTA thanks the Administration and members of the General Assembly for helping our industry recover from the pandemic.
Details about how to apply for these programs are not yet available. OTA is working with the state agencies responsible for administering the grants to offer a webinar and more details as they are known.
Funding approved includes the following:
Local Fairs – $4.7 million in grants through the Ohio Department of Agriculture
Entertainment Venues - $20 million in grants to entertainment venues impacted by the pandemic. This funding is not restricted for indoor venues only. Development Services Agency will provide grants in amounts of $10,000, $20,000 and $30,000 based on demonstrated loss of revenue due to canceled events or performances.
New Business Relief Grants - $10 million in grants of $10,000 for new businesses in this state opening after Jan. 1, 2020. These businesses were not eligible for the small business grants issued last year.
Small Business Grant - $150 million in grants of $10,000 to all eligible businesses who applied for grants on or before Dec. 11, 2020 under the Small Business Grant Relief program last year, but whose requests were not funded.
Bar and Restaurant Assistance - $100 million to provide relief to bars and restaurants. Ohio Development Services Agency will provide grants in amounts of $10,000, $20,000 and $30,000 based on such factors as demonstrated loss of revenue and the number of employees eligible bars and restaurants employ.
Lodging Industry Grants - $25 million to provide relief for lodging industry businesses. Ohio Development Services Agency will provide grants in amounts of $10,000, $20,000 and $30,000 based on such factors as demonstrated loss of revenue and occupancy rates.
Safety Protocols and Mandates Updates
GOVERNOR DEWINE REVISES MASK ORDER TO REFLECT NEW GUIDANCE FROM CDC
- All health orders will be rescinded June 2. In the meantime, Ohio updated its mask mandate for fully vaccinated residents to reflect new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- The updated order states that vaccinated Ohioans no longer need to wear a mask unless they are in a healthcare setting (includes nursing homes), traveling on public transportation or are in a business or workplace the requires masks.
- Those who are not vaccinated still should wear a mask/socially distance.
- Governor DeWine stated, “If a business chooses to require masking for employees and customers, that is permitted under the CDC guidance and our order. If a business chooses not to require masks and leave that choice to customers and employees, that is also in line with the CDC guidance and our order.”
- If the numbers rise again, Gov. DeWine would have a discussion with the general assembly about how to address this.
Federal Unemployment Update
OHIO TO STOP $300 WEEKLY FEDERAL UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE JUNE 26
As a reminder, Governor DeWine announced last week that Ohio will stop participating in the federal unemployment assistance program that provides $300 a week in additional unemployment. “In some cases, certainly discouraging people from going back [to work] at this point in time. The assistance was always, always intended to be temporary,” DeWine says. This goes into effect June 26.
View the latest trends and traveler sentiments in this one-page research summary.
Travel Research Updates
GROWING CONFIDENCE TO TRAVEL SAFELY, GAS PRICES EMERGING AS A CONCERN, SPLIT BETWEEN CLOSE-TO-HOME AND LONGER TRIPS
Key findings from Destination Analysts fielded May 13-15
- Consumer confidence in being able to travel safely continues to rise, with just under 35% American travelers avoiding travel (a 20% improvement in three months).
- Concern about travel prices and personal finances are increasing.
- While nearly 31% report concern about gas prices, 16% say they are reconsidering or canceling travel plans because of volatility in the gasoline market.
- More than 70% of American travelers are excited and open to new trips in the near-term. They are seeking travel inspiration.
- Search engine, email campaigns and social remain the top channels cited in this survey.
- July (33%) and August (32%) remain the top months when American travelers are planning to take leisure trips. A quarter of American travelers report planning to take a trip in September or October.
- While 46% say they are planning trips closer to home, 41% report interest in longer and more involved destinations this summer.
BUSINESS TRAVEL BOOKINGS INCREASING, MORE EXPECT TO TAKE DOMESTIC BUSINESS TRIP WITHIN NEXT THREE MONTHS
Key findings from Global Business Travel Association fielded May 10-15, 2021 among corporate travel managers and business travel suppliers.
- While there is growing optimism for recovery, 66% have cancelled or suspended most or some domestic business trips.
- A growing number, however, plan to return to domestic business travel in the next three months.
- Hotels and airlines echo these findings, with 54% seeing a growth in corporate bookings. Those reporting unchanged bookings are 36%, while only 10% reported a decrease in bookings.
- Employees may be more willing to travel for business, with 75% of corporate managers saying their employees seem willing to travel versus 10% they suspect are unwilling. Safety (79%) and vaccination status (74%) are the top reasons for hesitancy.
- Many corporate managers (46%) say they will resume travel regardless of vaccination status of their employees.
- A majority (56%) of business travelers report they're as likely to extend a business trip for leisure as before the pandemic. Nineteen percent (19%) are more likely to take a "bleisure" trip, while 17% are less likely.
SEVERAL KEY TRAVEL SENTIMENT INDICATORS CONTINUE TO TREND AT PANDEMIC-HIGH POSITIVE LEVELS, MANY AMERICANS STILL CONCERNED ABOUT SAFTEY AND NOW THE COST OF TRAVEL; DIVIDED ON NOTION OF PROOF OF VACCINATION REQUIRMENTS FOR TRAVEL
Key findings from Longwoods International fielded May 18, 2021
- The percent of American travelers with plans to do so in the next six months is at a pandemic record high of 89%.
- Despite the ongoing easing of restrictions and protocols across the country, 50% say that a destination having protocols in place will impact their destination choice this summer.
- As gas prices and inflation rise at the same time there growing concern regarding the cost of accommodations and transportation - 39% say that the cost of transportation and 39% say the cost of accommodations will impact their destination choice this summer.
- American travelers are divided on the notion of proof of vaccination requirements and their impact on their travel decisions as to which destination they select and travel companies they use.
- 33% saying they are more likely to visit a destination/use a travel company that requires proof and 31% saying it has no influence on their plans/decisions. 19% are likely to only visit a destination/use a travel company that requires proof of vaccination, while only about 17% will not or are less likely to visit a destination/use a travel company that requires some sort of proof.
- American Resident Sentiment towards travel is at a pandemic high with 57% now ready to welcome visitors back into their communities (up 13 points in the past 2 ½ months) and 65% feeling safe dining and shopping locally.