National Travel and Tourism Week is May 3-9. Tourism is an integral part of Woodstock’s economy. Many of our businesses and thousands of our workers serve visitors to our city. Woodstock’s tourism industry includes transportation, lodging, recreation and entertainment, arts, retail, food and beverage, travel advisers, and destination marketers. The unprecedented public health crisis that began in March halted ground travel, putting our businesses and workers in a bind.
Visit Woodstock GA exists to promote business and leisure travel to visitors around the country and the world, and those visits fuel our local economy and job opportunities. The tourism industry businesses that contribute to our community, almost all of them small businesses, simply could not weather the storm on their own.
On March 20, the travel and tourism industry called on Washington to establish a fund to keep workers employed, provide emergency liquidity for travel businesses to remain open, and to bulk up the Small Business Administration loan program. Economic Development Director Brian Stockton and I joined colleagues across America in asking Congress to act to ensure the Woodstock tourism industry and its workers could sustain themselves through this painful economic period. You can read the letter at WDSTK.ga/USTletter. Visit Woodstock GA appears on page 58.
You, too, can help Woodstock’s travel industry recover by supporting local businesses and workers struggling to survive and rebuild. While many Americans may lack the discretionary income for leisure travel, business travel rebounds more quickly. When travel restrictions are lifted, suggest Woodstock to your association or corporate headquarters for meetings. Woodstock can accommodate meetings of up to 100 attendees at the Chambers at City Center. Call 770-592-6056 for more information or assistance.
Another way you can help is to advocate for the tourism industry in Woodstock. Become one of Woodstock’s first tourism ambassadors. Visit Woodstock GA is launching a program similar to Woodstock Citizen’s Public Safety Academy to educate the public about Woodstock as a tourism destination. Complete the contact form on VisitWoodstockGa.com and be sure to say you’re interested in becoming an ambassador. You will then be notified of program dates, as they are announced.
Before COVID-19, nearly 16 million jobs were supported by travel. Travel was a top 10 employer in almost every state, generating over $2 trillion for the U.S. economy annually across all industries. With your help and the action of Congress, the industry can regain that status. Join Visit Woodstock GA and other destinations nationwide in recognizing how “travel works” for America.
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