Tag: tourism

Western Maine tourism, recreation get a funding boost

FRYEBURG — The federal government is making an investment in the tourism and recreation industries in western Maine, an area popular with hikers, campers and outdoor adventurers.

The University of Maine has received $286,800 to provide workforce training for the industries, U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, a Republican, and Angus King, an independent, said.

The money is through a partnership between the Northern Border Regional Commission and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Collins and King said in a statement that UMaine’s work “will preserve and protect western Maine’s rich history and beautiful landscapes by expanding workforce and professional development opportunities for Mainers.”

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After the Pandemic’s Travel Collapse, Biden Should Build Tourism Back Better

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s ambitious goals include strengthening the country’s middle class, making the environment a top priority across the government, and building the economy back better after so many livelihoods have been shattered by the coronavirus pandemic.

A revitalized national tourism policy could be a big part of the solution for all three issues. To get an idea how that could work, take a look at Key West, an island off the southern tip of Florida.

On Nov. 3, when the world’s eyes were fixed on the U.S. presidential election, the voters of Key West passed three landmark measures to dramatically reduce cruise ship traffic docking in their small, historic town. A citizen-led movement successfully argued that years of unregulated big-cruise tourism had taken too great a toll on the environment, public health, local businesses, and the town’s very way of life. By margins as large as 81 percent, the island city voted to reduce the number of ships allowed to dock, ban the largest cruise ships outright, and require clean environmental records of the smaller vessels that will still be allowed to visit the island. Voters were opting for an end to frenzied crowds and polluted water, and in favor of something closer to sustainable or ecotourism. Both the locals and their visitors will be better off this way.

But this vote was about far more than one town’s battle against cruise ships. It’s part of a backlash following many years of government neglect during a phase of relentless growth of tourism. It’s become a truism that modern overtourism has not only overrun, disfigured, and polluted places such as Key West, Barcelona, and Venice, but also spoiled destinations and ruined vacations for many travelers as well.

In the era before the pandemic, the $8 trillion global tourism industry was celebrated for underpinning economies around the world, including that of the United States, where the money spent by foreign visitors accounts for 11 percent of export earnings. (Because the money technically comes in from abroad, spending by visitors is booked as exports.) Those numbers mask the furor at the unacknowledged damage tourism was doing to local life, the environment, and visitors’ ability to appreciate the places they were visiting.

It took the pandemic to bring the issue to a head. The tsunami-like spread of the coronavirus brought the global travel industry to an abrupt halt. The world went from too much tourism to no tourism at all. Lockdowns meant that no one moved, neither across international borders nor even across town. Overnight, we all discovered the contradictory powers of the travel and tourism industry.

In real time, Americans saw how travel and tourism is the $1.6-trillion glue holding much of the U.S. economy together. Yet they also saw how it is a formidable environmental threat that pollutes their air and water and contributes to the climate crisis.

Without tourism, seemingly solid industries such as airlines, hotels, restaurants, and department stores tanked—the list is almost endless. Every U.S. state suffered,

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Hawaii’s hotel industry is still struggling despite tourism reopening, and isn’t expected to break even in 2021

More than a year from now, Hawaii’s hotel industry won’t have stopped bleeding.

A new annual Hawaii hotel forecast prepared by STR for the Hawaii Tourism Authority estimates that by the end of 2021, statewide occupancy will have hit only 46.3%, still short of the 50% to 60% occupancy that the industry needs to break even.

Many of Hawaii’s hotels temporarily closed during the pandemic as government restrictions and fear of COVID-19 significantly reduced travel demand. Quite a number were open by Oct. 15, the start of the state’s pre-
arrival testing program under Safe Travels
Hawaii. But so far, Hawaii’s formal welcome-
back to travelers hasn’t filled hotel rooms to the degree that many had hoped.

About 75% of Hawaii hotels are operating again. Still, only about 1,000 out of 8,000 Unite Here Local 5 hotel members are back to work. Some 5,000 of them already have lost their health insurance, and most are facing the loss of other support programs just after Christmas.

Local 5 spokesman Bryant de Venecia said, “Most of our workers have lost health insurance. They really want to go back to work, but that’s really out of our control. We can’t control how many tourists will
occupy our hotels.”

“If we are going to recap 2020, we barely left square one. Our members are still struggling, still dealing with how to pay for rent and food and health care,” de Venecia said. “It’s just heartbreaking, especially right before Christmas. People need help now.”

Mufi Hannemann, president and CEO of the Hawaii Lodging &Tourism Association, said Hawaii hoteliers are languishing, too.

Hannemann cited a recent survey of American Hotel &Lodging Association members that estimated 7 in
10 hoteliers (71%) wouldn’t make it another six months without further federal assistance given current and projected travel demand, and 77% of hotels report they will be forced to lay off more workers.

“I don’t know if Hawaii is quite at 71%. We’ve got a number of foreign hotel owners who might be able to survive beyond that period. Still, I would reckon a good number of our properties are in dire straits,” Hannemann said.

Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA, said in
a statement that Congress must move quickly to pass additional relief for U.S.

“Every hour Congress doesn’t act, hotels lose
400 jobs. As devastated industries like ours desperately wait for Congress to come together to pass another round of COVID-19
relief legislation, hotels continue to face record devastation,” Rogers said. “Without action from Congress, half of U.S. hotels could close with massive layoffs in the next six months.”

Rogers said U.S. hotels
already are expecting to face a difficult winter, characterized by a significant drop in travel demand — some 7 out of 10 Americans are not expected to travel over the holidays.

According to STR, U.S. weekly hotel occupancy has slipped further from previous weeks.

“After ranging between 48% and 50% occupancy from mid-July into the later portion of October, the last three

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October Tourism Authority Report: Maui County Vacation Rentals at 21% and Hotels at 14.2% Occupancy | Maui Now


Maui vacation rental

File photo.

The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) released its Hawaiʻi Vacation Rental Performance Report for October. It shows Maui County had the largest vacation rental supply of all four counties with 138,500 available unit nights, which was a decrease of 53.5 percent compared to a year ago.

Unit demand was 29,051 unit nights (-87.6%), resulting in 21 percent occupancy (-57.6 percentage points) with an average daily rate (ADR) of $227 (-36.2%). Maui County hotels were 14.2 percent occupied with an ADR of $226.

For the entire state, the total monthly supply of statewide vacation rentals was 373,600 unit nights (-57.0%) and monthly demand was 85,000 unit nights (-86.4%), resulting in an average monthly unit occupancy of 22.7 percent (-49.1 percentage points). Hawaiʻi’s hotels had an average occupancy rate of 19.7 percent.

It is important to note that unlike hotels, condominium hotels, timeshare resorts and vacation rental units are not necessarily available year-round or each day of the month and often accommodate a larger number of guests than traditional hotel rooms. The unit average daily rate (ADR) for vacation rental units statewide in October was $208, which was higher than the ADR for hotels ($174), according to the report.

The state’s pre-travel testing program started on Oct. 15, allowing passengers arriving from out-of-state and traveling inter-county to bypass the mandatory 14-day self-quarantine with a valid negative COVID-19 test result from a trusted partner. All other transpacific travelers continued to be subject to the 14-day self-quarantine. The counties of Kauaʻi, Hawaiʻi, Maui and Kalawao (Molokai) also had a partial quarantine in place in October.

For Maui County, travelers awaiting their pre-travel test results were allowed to stay at a vacation rental as their place of quarantine. On Hawaiʻi Island and Kauaʻi, legal short-term rentals were allowed to operate as long as they were not being used as a quarantine location.

On Oahu, short-term rentals (rented for less than 30 days) were not allowed to operate at the beginning of October. However, when Oahu moved to Tier 2 of its Reopening Plan on Oct. 22, legal short-term rentals were allowed to reopen.

Other Island Highlights:

Oahu vacation rental supply was 96,500 available unit nights (-59.4%) in October. Unit demand was 26,300 unit nights (-84.6%), resulting in 27.2 percent occupancy (-44.3 percentage points) and an ADR of $173 (-32.7%). Oahu hotels were 22 percent occupied with an ADR of $158.

The Big Island vacation rental supply was 80,000 available unit nights (-61.7%) in October. Unit demand was 17,416 unit nights (-86.7%), resulting in 21.8 percent occupancy (-40.8 percentage points) with an ADR of $192 (-26.3%). Big Island hotels were 19.8 percent occupied with an ADR of $140.

Kauaʻi had the fewest number of available unit nights in October at 58,500 (-52.5%). Unit demand was 12,300 unit nights (-86.1%), resulting in 21.0 percent occupancy (-50.6 percentage points) with an ADR of $261 (-34.2%). Kauaʻi hotels were 21.3 percent occupied with an ADR of $212.

The entire report is available by clicking here.

Tables of vacation

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204 tourism, hotel operators shut down since March, Tourism Minister tells Parliament

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): A total of 204 tourism and hotel operators have closed their businesses since March this year due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and enforcement of the movement control order (MCO), says Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.

The Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister said based on data released by the Companies Commission of Malaysia, the number comprised 109 entities in the hotel sector including hotels, resorts, motels, homestays and chalets, while 95 others were tourism agencies and tourism activities operators.

“Thirty-two out of 109 entities from the hotel sector and 38 out of 95 tourism agencies were ordered to close by the courts or they closed voluntarily, ” she told the Dewan Rakyat Monday (Nov 23).

She was responding to a question from Datuk Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub (BN-Machang), who had asked the number of hotels and tourism companies that had gone bankrupt since the enforcement of the MCO until Oct 31 and whether the ministry would undertake initiatives to ensure hotel operators and tourism companies could bear operating costs until the economy reopens.

Nancy said the ministry would study the matter and hold discussions with other government agencies and related associations to identify the issues and find solutions.

However, she said the ministry had also approved new licence applications from 135 tourism companies and operators during the same period.

Meanwhile, Nancy said the ministry planned to ask for about RM50mil in development allocation for the Sungai Batu archaeological site in Kedah under the rolling plan of the 12th Malaysia Plan for 2021.

“Last September, the ministry’s officers visited the archaeological site with Economic Planning Unit officers and explained the long-term plan and development allocation required, ” she said to a supplementary question from Nor Azrina Surip (PH-Merbok) on the previous withdrawal of the allocation for the archaeological site. – Bernama

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Norris Area Trail System Taking Recreation Tourism to the Next Level by Unveiling Plans for Multi-Use Recreational Trail System

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Nov. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — The Norris Project Steering Committee is launching a plan to improve connectivity between four park systems to create a more extensive multi-use recreational trail system. The NATS steering committee consists of local officials and the respective property managers for Loyston Point, Big Ridge State Park, Norris Watershed Trails, and Norris Dam State Park. The recently completed Norris Area Trail Sustainability (NATS) and Connectivity Feasibility Plan propose building a system of non-motorized multi-use trails to attract more year-round visitors by expanding recreational options.

In an area that’s long suffered from tepid economic vitality, enhancing visitors’ experiences could catalyze raising the region’s recreation profile and, in turn, boost local businesses and increase demand for workers. This improvement will sustain local tourism during the winter months by leveraging existing NATS recreational assets to balance the large number of tourists who visit Norris Lake in the summer.

Chuck Morris, a local biking enthusiast who often volunteers to help build and maintain area trails, is excited about the NATS plan. He believes that if improved and energetically promoted, NATS could compete as planned with the booming summertime water activity.

“It’s hard to get somebody to come here for a single trail system, but if you can market it as multiple trail systems that are interconnected, then when you have people come stay on a houseboat for a week, they will want to bring their bikes out to ride, too. Then you will have more people coming in the summer and riding, but also coming back in the winter and bringing business to your hotels, your cabins, your marinas, and restaurants.”

“The bigger picture of the Norris Area Trail System is not only to get more people to enjoy our parks but to discover our area and draw more attention to it,” said Norris Lake State Park manager Veronica Grear. “All of us want to bring more people to our parks — and have them spend their money locally. The whole vision of the NATS plan is to promote parks and connect more people to the parks so that we can have future generations of park supporters and advocates who’re going to protect the land and enjoy it after we’re not here anymore.”

“What is unique about this system of trails is that each land manager will retain autonomy for their property, but is committed to collaborating to boost the tourism opportunities for these rural counties that border Norris Lake,” says Julie Graham, spokesperson for ExploreTRV. “The TVA came to this Valley in 1930 to create not only the dam but to build places for people to enjoy outdoor recreation. The TVA’s investment in funding the feasibility plan helped us create this vision. We appreciate the support from the Anderson, Campbell, and Union County mayors and commissions in supporting the realization of the vision.”

The Tennessee River Valley Stewardship Council serves as the steering committee and editorial board for the Geotourism

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Oconee Parks, Recreation and Tourism announces winter operations schedule

a bridge over a body of water: High Falls County Park

© (Source: FOX Carolina)

High Falls County Park

Walhalla, SC (FOX Carolina) – The Oconee County Parks, Recreation and Tourism office has announced its operating hours for its parks in the Winter of 2020.

Chau Ram County Park

Campground closes Nov. 16-Feb.28, 2021, re-opens March 1, 2021 Park will expand winter hours; Open 9am-4pm daily Nov-Feb with the following exceptions Park will close for safety when below freezing, ice present or flooding Park will be closed for Thanksgiving Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27 Park will be closed for Christmas break December 21-January 3rd

High Falls County Park

Campground closes Nov. 16-Feb. 28, 2021, re-opens March 1, 2021 Park gates will be open daily 7am-10pm through the winter with the following exceptions Day use area closes daily at dusk Park gates will be closed for Thanksgiving Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27 Park gates will be closed for Christmas Thursday, December 24th and Friday, December 25th

South Cove County Park

Campground closes December 21-January 3rd Park gates will open daily 5am-10pm with the following exception

Park gates will be closed for Christmas Thursday, December 24th and Friday, December 25th

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RI’s new $20-million COVID grants won’t help small hotels enough, tourism leaders say

Hotel, tourism and arts officials have until Monday, Nov. 9 to apply for new state grants from a $20-million pool set up to curb the closing of businesses and nonprofits struggling from the coronavirus, and government restrictions meant to stop the spread.

a vase of flowers sits in front of a window: The Graduate Providence, in the location of the former Providence Biltmore hotel, is closing its doors indefinitely due to the coronovavirus crisis. [The Providence Journal, file / Bob Breidenbach]

© Bob Breidenbach, The Providence Journal
The Graduate Providence, in the location of the former Providence Biltmore hotel, is closing its doors indefinitely due to the coronovavirus crisis. [The Providence Journal, file / Bob Breidenbach]

But some say the $20 million is too little to seriously help Rhode Island’s multibillion-dollar travel and tourism industry.

Others say one part of the program that offers up to $1-million grants favors big hotels and leaves out smaller lodgings.

“It’s a start. Nothing’s perfect,” said Dale Venturini, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Hospitality Association. ”It’s the first time hotels will get a shot at getting some money.”

House Minority Leader Blake Filippi, R-Block Island, is critical of some of the grants available to larger hotels.

“There are few, if any, small business hotels that have 200 rooms,” he said, referring to one requirement. “The program is clearly a state bailout to large out-of-state corporate interests, not Rhode Islanders. This program should be expanded to all hotel owners, regardless of size.“

Evan Smith, president and CEO of Discover Newport, a nonprofit that promotes Newport and surrounding towns, said many potential grant applicants have questions that he hoped state officials would answer.

He added, “Travel and tourism is a multibillion-dollar industry. Thanks for the program, but $20 million doesn’t solve a billion-dollar problem.”

He also said if other sectors of the economy, such as manufacturing or health care, were suffering similar losses, the state would put down a lot more to solve the crisis.

Matt Sheaff, director of communications at the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, said that as with all COVID-era programs, the state will explore additional support, especially if there is a new round of federal stimulus funding.

Rhode Island’s leisure and hospitality industry has been hard-hit since the outbreak of the virus in March, and after governments here and across the country imposed restrictions on travel, gatherings and business. 

Since the spring, a typical hotel in Rhode Island has lost 85 percent of its revenue, Farouk Rajab, chairman of the Rhode Island Hospitality Association, told The Providence Journal. He said half the hotels in Rhode Island will close by the middle of next year without “substantial” state and federal aid.

Thousands of workers have been affected.

Jobs in accommodation and food services are down 12,100 from peak employment of 53,000 in February, according to the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training. Jobs in arts and entertainment are off 2,300 since the peak of 8,200 in February. 

In a statement, Randall Rosenbaum, executive director of the RI State Council for the Arts, said, “During the pandemic, the arts sector literally ground to a halt. Theaters and concert halls and museums were shuttered and artists and cultural workers lost

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Two COVID positives impact SUNY Schenectady’s School of Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism

Categories: News, Schenectady County

SCHENECTADY – Two COVID positives connected to SUNY Schenectady’s School of Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism led Sunday to classes there going remote and some services there shutting down, the school said late Sunday.

The school received word of the two positive tests Sunday. The individuals did not have direct contact with the public, officials said. But, out of an abundance of caution, the school closed its Casola, Van Curler, Pane e Dolci and The Boucherie Curbside takeout services, the school said.

All classes at the School of Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism were moved remote for two weeks and the facilities will be deep cleaned.

The individuals who tested positive were last on campus Friday and will not return to the college until they are cleared by Schenectady County Public Health Services.

The school has identified the two individuals’ close contacts at the college and the health department will reach out to those who were in close contact, the school said.

“We remind our campus community to stay vigilant outside of school, practice good hygiene, wear masks and follow social distance guidelines as outlined by the CDC and the New York State Department of Health,” the college said in a release. 


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Egypt’s Tourism Minister, CDWS discuss cooperation in marine recreation activities

(MENAFN – Daily News Egypt) Egypt’s Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled Al-Anani met with Chamber of Diving and Water Sports (CDWS) members, to discuss methods of joint cooperation during the coming period.

The cooperation will look to develop Egypt’s diving and marine activities, in a way that preserves the environment and achieves the development of sustainable tourism.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed a number of topics that would contribute to the improvement of diving and marine activities, and the controls needed to regulate this sector’s work. At the same time, it would ensure the safety of Egypt’s marine environment.

The meeting also touched on preventing incorrect practices regarding tourists and marine life, especially in light of Egypt’s global excellence in this field.

Al-Anani stressed the importance of diving centres and marine activities at the various tourist destinations in Egypt, and their adherence to the requirements and controls of the established licences.

This comes in addition to the commitment to implement all precautionary and preventive measures, and health and safety controls, to protect workers and visitors.

For their part, the Chamber members gave a presentation on the efforts made by the CDWS to facilitate work procedures in this field. They reviewed the ways to reach tourists who prefer to practice these activities, especially through what is provided by the Chamber’s website, which will be officially launched soon.

The site provides all information on marine activities in Egypt, and where they can be accessed. The chamber also provides an opportunity to train tourists to dive through a group of skilled and highly experienced divers.

In addition, the two sides reviewed the number of diving awards the country has been awarded for its facilities in the Red Sea area, and the distinguished diving sites in this area.

In 2008, 2009, and 2010, opinion polls conducted in the UK showed that Red Sea beaches were the most popular for diving and marine activities, with Egypt winning second place in 2015, Meanwhile, Egypt also won second place in 2020 for marine and diving activities.


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