RICHMOND, Va. - Spring is usually the time for a trip to your favorite vineyard, a stop at a beach along Virginia’s coast or a journey to one of the commonwealth’s many historic sites.
This week would have been spring break for many families, but Gov. Ralph Northam has made it very clear — his message to Virginians is to stay home.
With necessary restrictions to help minimize the spread of COVID-19, tourism in Virginia is, unsurprisingly, taking a hit.
“People aren’t traveling and a lot of destinations people want to go to are closed right now,” said Virginia Tourism Corporation communications manager Andrew Cothern. “So that’s a lot of lost income for not only these businesses but the tourism industry in general.”
Cothern says people can help the tourism industry by purchasing gift cards to their favorite local businesses and by ordering directly from local restaurants doing curbside pickup, delivery or takeout.
“We’ve seen our tourism partners utilize online options a lot more — whether it’s a virtual tour of a museum or a live-streaming concert at a local music venue, our partners are finding new ways to interact with their audience,” said Cothern.
Virginia Tourism has created a webpage dedicated to helping you ‘Experience Virginia from Home.’ It includes information about Takeout Week, 10 activities for social distancing (like binge-watching movies and shows filmed in Virginia or reading a book by one of the commonwealth’s talented authors) and how you can stream live music from the comfort and safety of your home.
“We believe the tourism industry is very resilient, and once this crisis passes we think that people are going to want to get out of their homes and start traveling again,” said Cothern. “So we definitely see the tourism industry bouncing back.”
To learn more about the Virginia Tourism Corporation, click here.