ANN ARBOR, MI – Destination Ann Arbor has launched a toolkit for businesses and communities affected by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis which has greatly impacted the local economy and hospitality organizations. The toolkit is created with small businesses and organizations serving visitors in mind and is relevant for other entities as well. The toolkit is accessible here: https://www.annarbor.org/business-toolkit/
Included in the toolkit are updates from local, state and federal governmental and health officials regarding relief efforts, guidelines and requirements, as well as passed and pending legislation. Additionally, Destination Ann Arbor has provided resources for businesses interested in setting up an online store or exploring new ventures into technologies like livestreaming, video and audio conferencing, and social media.
Destination Ann Arbor President & CEO Mary Kerr said, “We understand that the aggressive measures taken by our elected officials to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus are necessary in the interest of public health and we’re tremendously appreciative of their leadership during this unprecedented crisis. We plan to take equally unprecedented and accelerated measures on behalf of our local visitor economy when this situation passes. In the interim, supporting our small businesses and advocating for our hospitality community throughout Washtenaw County are our highest priorities, and this online toolkit provides information and resources that we hope will be valuable to our stakeholders who are enduring an extraordinarily difficult situation.”
The local visitor economy in Washtenaw County is integral to the overall prosperity of our region. Destination Ann Arbor commissioned an economic impact study in 2018 to measure the impact of visitor spending in our community, and the results showed that nearly 4 million people visit Ann Arbor each year, generating $1.2 billion in total economic output. Additionally, over 9,000 full-time equivalent jobs in our community are supported by the local tourism industry, fueling over $243 million in income for workers and over $37 million in state and local tax revenue.
The U.S. Travel Association expects to see a total economic loss of $809 billion across the travel industry, contributing to 40% unemployment in this large economic sector. Overall, the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the travel industry will be six times as great as the impact of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, according to the U.S. Travel Association.
As this situation continues to evolve, Destination Ann Arbor remains committed to serving Washtenaw County, our hospitality businesses, our residents, and the public. Learn more about what we’re doing during this crisis here: https://www.annarbor.org/coronavirus/
Destination Ann Arbor is a 501 (c)6 not-for-profit organization whose mission is to promote sustainable tourism to elevate economic vitality and quality of life.