A Path Forward
April 23, 2020
An announcement regarding more Ohio opening details is planned for Monday, April 27. Governor Dewine told Ohioans that a plan would be revealed to slowly open the state beginning May 1. Stay tuned to 2:00 PM daily press conferences for the latest updates on .

  • Federal guidelines for “Opening Up America Again” have been released. The guidelines outline state or regional gating criteria for a downward trajectory in symptoms and cases along with sufficient hospital capabilities, in order to progress through a three-phase reopening process.

  • Experts estimate we will be living with COVID-19 for at least the next 18 months. Ohio is working to acquire the necessary testing materials and capabilities for increased testing and contact tracing to control the spread of infection while gradually reopening. Reopening in Ohio will be a phased approach and more Phase I details will be released during Governor DeWine's press conference on Monday, April 27.

  • The phased reopening in Ohio will start with companies that demonstrate they can implement and meet safety protocols. Procedures should be in place to enforce social distancing, employee wellness checks, wearing of masks, handwashing, disinfecting and sanitizing regiments, etc. During the press conference on April 22, Governor DeWine ensured that a team in the administration is working on the supply chain to have the needed supplies when the opening day(s) come for many businesses.

  • Start planning now. The best practices for safely reopening should be specific to your business. Begin identifying where you can eliminate or sanitize contact points during daily operations, including not only interactions with the public and customers, but also interactions between employees and consideration for heavy traffic areas and gathering places in your business such as copy machines, mailrooms, break rooms, and water coolers. Additionally, it is still recommended that employees that can telecommute should continue to be permitted to work remotely during Phase I.

  • Governor DeWine has convened a task force on mass gatherings. No additional details or recommendations are available at this time. In the federal guidelines for reopening, 'large venues' continue to operate with physical distancing protocols through phase III.

COVID-19 & Consumer Travel Sentiment
According to the US Travel Association, there was 83% less travel spending  i n Ohio as of April 15, and all US regions are experiencing similar declines ranging from 84% to 87%. The Oxford Economics study projects t ravel sector revenue remains on average 81% below normal through April and May, gradually lessening into the summer and through the end of 2020, assuming loosening travel restrictions. A decline of 45% is projected for the entire year.

Visit Canton is currently collecting survey responses regarding visitors' intent to travel in 2020 and will share the findings with our partners once available. View the Visit Canton 2020 Travel Survey.

A Traveler Sentiment Study by Longwoods International provides insight into consumer behavior, and how it has changed over the past six weeks, March 11-April 15. 82% of travelers are planning to change upcoming travel plans and 72% still plan to travel in the next six months.
Travel Awaits - Visit Canton is Ready
It is important for the safety of all that we continue to follow recommendations of public health officials and help stop the spread of COVID-19. With continued progress, non-essential travel will be permitted to resume in phase II of the federal guidelines.

The amazing network of industry partners here in Stark County creates a safe, affordable, driveable destination that can satisfy a pent up desire to get out and do something. Visit Canton is prepared, when the moment is right, to implement local and regional campaigns that inspire people to begin planning and consider a trip to Stark County. 
Ohio Humanities Grant Application Opens May 1
Funded by the CARES Act, Ohio Humanities will be providing $750,000 in emergency relief grants for historical societies, museums, and other cultural organizations.

Applications for emergency grants will be available beginning on May 1; the first deadline for submission will be May 15.

Daily Updates for Ohio Travel Businesses
Stay up to date with daily notices on the latest studies, relief, and other resources, specific to Ohio travel businesses.