March 18, 2020
COVID-19 INDUSTRY UPDATE
Yesterday afternoon hotel executives from Marriott, Hilton, MGM, IHG and others
met with President Trump
to report on the dire situation impacting the tourism industry. Each executive reported a similar story – single digit occupancy, mass layoffs, and an unprecedented threat to fiscal and operational survival. MGM CEO James Murren announced that all properties would close effective today, March 18, 2020, and Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta said that hotels in major cities would soon be closing their doors.
Also yesterday, U.S. Travel released an
in conjunction with Tourism Economics, that paints a horrific picture. By the end June, the travel industry in the United States will lose 4.6 million jobs and $355 billion in revenue, for a total loss of $809 billion in economic output.
Of course, we are feeling it acutely here as well. The Regional Tourism Councils are all working together to create next steps for a campaign to promote tourism across the Commonwealth once we see that the virus is contained.
For small businesses confronted by this existential crisis, Keiko Orrall and the MA Office of Travel & Tourism shared some important resources this week. She shared information for assistance as we weather this, including a
Small Business Recovery Loan Fund
, a $10 million fund that will be administered by the Massachusetts Growth Corporation (MGCC). The Fund will provide emergency capital up to $75,000 to MA businesses impacted by COVID-19 that have less than 50 full-time and part-time employees. No payments will be due for 6 months. The Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program will offer businesses access to up to $2M in emergency loan capital with rates capped at 3.75%. Businesses can learn more about the
SBA’s response to COVID-19 here
NBC has added Prime-Time newscasts across the country. Expect to see others follow with additional 30-minute newscasts each evening.
Destination Plymouth board member Rob Kluin, from Plimoth Plantation sent this
around today that impresses upon all of us the need for marketing at a time like this.
Destination Plymouth board president Kevin Martin, with Best Western Cold Springs sent this from U.S. Travel Association: