Updates: Ohio's Travel Industry and the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Economic Relief Updates
OTA AND OHLA CONTINUE TO WORK ON ECONOMIC RELIEF AND THE ABILITY TO DO BUSINESS
This week, the Ohio Travel Association and the Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association met with the Ohio Governor's Office, Ohio Development Services Agency and TourismOhio to share the devastating impact of COVID-19 on Ohio travel and hospitality businesses. In addition to talking about new economic relief measures needed to address those businesses ineligible for existing state funding, we also talked about messaging and other support ideas.
In addition, OTA and OHLA continue to work on the development of safety guidelines for meetings and conferences. We will be sharing these proposed guidelines with industry members soon for feedback.
SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF PROGRAM TO BEGIN CONTACTING APPLICANTS THIS WEEK
Those for-profit businesses who applied for Small Business Grants will begin hearing this week on whether or not they are eligible for funding. To apply for funding, please visit here.
STILL NO GUIDELINES FOR NONPROFIT RELIEF PROGRAM
This economic relief program will be administered by Ohio Jobs and Family Services.
Economic Impact in Ohio
OHIO LOSSES NOW $11.5 BILLION SINCE MARCH
Tourism Economics has released its weekly tabulation of traveler spending. Ohio travel spending was down 38% ($231 million) from last year during the week ending Oct. 31. This was a 7% improvement over losses from last week and was the first uptick after three consecutive weeks of deepening losses.
Since March, Ohio has lost $11.5 billion in traveler spending to support businesses and jobs. The continual depressed level of travel spending in Ohio has produced a loss of $1.3 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenue since March 1. This includes $721 million in federal taxes, $337 million in state taxes, and $199 million in local tax revenue.
Travel Sentiment and Behavior Updates
MORE TRAVELERS WILL BE SEEKING RELAXATION, THANKSGIVING TRAVEL INTENT LOW, INCREASED CASES DECREASING COMFORT LEVELS TO TRAVEL EVEN LOCALLY
Key findings from Destination Analysts survey fielded Oct. 23 through Nov. 1:
- Relaxation will be a key lifestyle priority in the next six months (67%). This is up from 59% in April.
- Growing concerns about the pandemic continue to negatively impact sentiment towards travel in the near-term.
- Excitement levels about taking a getaway in the next month and openness to travel decreased again this week, while perceptions of travel activities as unsafe again increased.
- Confidence that they can travel safely in the current environment eroded 5 percentage points in the past 3 weeks (26.5% from 32.0%).
- Even comfort going out for leisure activities in their own communities has declined (42% from 47% on Oct. 18).
- Fewer travelers are comfortable traveling for Thanksgiving. Only 14% are planning to travel for the holiday, and 9% are undecided.
- Of those planning to travel, 36% will be staying in hotels, with 51% intending to stay with friends and family members
- Despite near-term concerns, intent to travel in the long-term remains steady. When asked about their travel intentions in the next two years, respondents said:
- 33% will take more domestic trips
- 31% will travel more with family
- 26% will travel to national parks and public lands (unclear whether this is an intention to experience the outdoors or specific to public-managed lands)
- 24% will travel to complete bucket lists
- 24% open to new ideas for travel
- 20% will travel more internationally
- 19% will travel more with friends
- 17% will travel to visit iconic cities