As visitor spending contributes a significant portion to The Woodlands economic viability, Visit The Woodlands has released a three-phase COVID Recovery Plan in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We clearly see the impact of travel and tourism and the effects on our economy,” said Bruce Rieser, Chairman of Visit The Woodlands. “The Woodlands relies on corporate and convention meetings and leisure travel, shopping and entertainment. As we carefully move forward under Governor’s Orders, we are pleased to see the re-opening of The Woodlands. It will be a gradual process, but at least we’re moving forward.”
The travel industry plays a major part of the overall economic viability of The Woodlands. With 14 hotels that can generate over 800,000 room nights a year, tourism is a big business in The Woodlands. The Woodlands generated $9.2 million in hotel occupancy tax and $379.9 million in direct travel spending by visitors in 2019, according to the State of Texas. In addition, more than 4,300 people are employed by the travel and tourism industry in The Woodlands.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency is having an unprecedented impact on the travel industry and the entire economy. The impact has called for a recovery plan for Visit The Woodlands in order to respond appropriately. As hotels, retail and restaurants open, and travel restrictions begin to lift, it is imperative that Visit The Woodlands' response be focused on the safety of its visitors.
“Just as importantly, we must also inspire confidence in travelers by demonstrating travel businesses are appropriately focused on their health and safety. To meet these objectives, we remain committed to following industry guidance,” Rieser continues.
The proposed recovery plan follows the advisement of Destinations International and the U.S. Travel Association, both leading organizations in travel and tourism industry. The plan consists of a three-phased approach, timeline and a list of temporary goals. The three phases being Response, Recovery and Resilience with each corresponding to specifics tasks and strategies. The plan is based on governmental and CDC guidelines; therefore, it could evolve to reflect new information in the coming weeks and months.