DENVER (CBS4) – Coronavirus has hit our economy hard. One of the industries badly affected by the pandemic is tourism. It is estimated that every third job lost is in the tourism industry. Andrea Flores of CBS4 spoke to Richard Scharf, President and CEO of Visit Denver, about the impact we are seeing here in Colorado.
“Whether it’s restaurants, hotels, transportation, or venues, all of these things have been dramatically affected,” says Scharf. “Right now we know that visitors outside of the state and the country are not interested in traveling a lot.”
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According to its website, Visit Denver’s mission is to “bring conventions and recreational visitors to Denver for the economic benefit of the city, community and our partners.” With the coronavirus, this mission has been postponed. Visit Denver is now focused on providing opportunities to support local businesses. This includes To Go Denver, a website where Denverites can find restaurants that are open for takeout and delivery.
“We have over 800 restaurants and hundreds of thousands of page views. So it works very well and is a great way to support the restaurant industry, ”says Scharf.
Another Visit Denver initiative is Virtual Denver. It lists all of the virtual activities museums offer for families.
This week, the non-profit organization also launched the “Love this City” campaign. Each weekday, Denverites can answer a key question to win a range of awards, including a stay at The Maven Hotel in LoDo.
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“‘Love this City’ encourages locals to show their love for this city and gives people the opportunity to support our local businesses and attractions,” says Scharf.
According to Scharf, his team hopes to market the city to travelers again when it is safe to do so. But he says there’s one thing that Denver could do to help the tourism industry recover faster than other cities.
“We have a lot of nature and are an open city,” says Scharf. “I think that will be a good sign, at least in the short term.”
Visit Denver: http://denver.org
To Go Denver: http://togodenver.com
Love This City campaign: https://www.denver.org/love-this-city/
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Handy Denver: https://www.denver.org/blog/post/denver-events-this-weekend/