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Will tourism rebound on Cape Cod in 2021? Local businesses hope vaccines will speed recovery

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During a typical summer, Falmouth Museums on the Green, home to the Falmouth Historical Society, brims with visitors looking to sneak a peek inside its many historical homes, gather for weddings or explore its many exhibits.

But the COVID-19 pandemic changed all of that. The museums remained closed for 2020, moving their speaker series online.

“For obvious reasons, it has been a year to remember, to forget,” said Mark Schmidt, the museums’ executive director.

The museums were set to open when the state allowed for Phase III businesses to do so, Schmidt said. With hand sanitizer available, plexiglass barriers and arrows in place to lead visitors, they were ready to go by the end of July.

But in the end,  the decision was made not to reopen for the season, Schmidt said. The museums mostly are run by 200 volunteers, many of them older, and they didn’t want to run the risk of exposure to the coronavirus, he said. They also didn’t want to cram people into historic houses.

Instead, the board of directors decided to wait to reopen until the COVID-19 vaccines arrived, Schmidt said.

“There is no question it took a toll on us,” Schmidt said. “We were fortunate that our members were supportive in their giving.”

With funding in place for this year, Schmidt said, he believes the museum will make it until next summer. But he said that if 2021 and 2022 are anything like 2020, it will be hard to sustain.

“We will go forward with the fact that 2021 can’t be as bad as 2020,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt is optimistic that tourists will return to Falmouth and the rest of the cape next summer.

“I do think that there is a basic fatigue of being inside.”

But “I don’t think masks are going away anytime soon,” he said.

Despite the pandemic, the cape had the best performance in the state for tourism this past summer. Wendy Northcross, CEO of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, said the cape can expect the same next year.

“I know it is so hard to look into the crystal ball these days,” Northcross said. “There is some good news coming our way.”

As vaccines begin to roll out across the country, many people are flocking to the Cape to escape  the cities and visit their second homes, Northcross said. Plus, people who haven’t been traveling want to do so, she said.

If they can make it through the winter, Northcross said, businesses in the tourism industry have reason to be somewhat optimistic.

Now that the cape has survived a summer under COVID-19 restrictions, businesses understand the constraints and can plan better, Northcross said.

“I am a lot more optimistic than I think I should be,” she said when asked how tourism will go this spring and summer. “There are certainly challenges to get there.”

The ability to make it to next summer may depend on how much stimulus money makes its way to local businesses, Northcross said.

“Nobody knows how long this is going to go,” she said. “More stimulus is going to help bridge the gap.”

Tourism is fickle, said Elizabeth Wurfbain, executive director of Hyannis Main Street Business Improvement District. There are many hurdles to overcome, she said, including weather and financial stability, even during a normal year,.

The cape was lucky this year because the weather allowed for people to eat outside, Wurfbain said.

“We don’t know what the spring is going to look like,” she said. “No one has a magic ball. Even as the pandemic has some solutions with the vaccines, how long is it going to take to work out? When is it going to go back to when people want to spend?”

With tourist-driven businesses in peril, Wurfbain said, there needs to be support for the unemployed workers and assistance for those businesses. But like Northcross, she is optimistic about tourism coming back next year.

“I do see it doing well because Cape Cod is poised so well as a beautiful place to live,” Wurfbain said. “It is not super expensive, very wholesome and easy to get to. But I am cautious.”

The Osterville Historical Museum, which holds weddings, rehearsal dinners and large fundraising events throughout the year, had to rrethink much of what it did this year.

“I think that this year for everybody was such a different year, and we really focused on the things that we could do instead of all the things that we couldn’t do,” said Jennifer Williams, the museum’s executive director. “I think that made all the difference.”

Beginning in March, the museum helped to set up a virtual farmers market, allowing fresh local produce to be delivered to residents on Cape Cod. When summer approached, the traditional farmers market set up at the museum was opened as well, with social distancing and guidelines set up on the 2-acre property.

“We had to twist a few other things and morph as we needed,” Williams said.

Instead of holding a large, in-person fundraising event, museum staff moved its traditional art online, selling work from local artists, Williams said.

As winter approached, the annual Festival of Trees show was moved to the historic Crosby Yacht Yard, where large bay doors could open for better air circulation. Eleven decorated trees lined the wooden boats, Williams said.

The museum’s admission is free,  Williams said, which puts it in a unique position to move into next year.

Tourism in Osterville already was on the high end this year, Williams said, with many people arriving at their second homes as early as March. She believes that will only continue next year.

“Everything is still very unknown in terms of what we can and cannot do for next year,” Williams said. “Moving forward we are expecting things to be as normal, or as normal as they can be.”

Tourism was deeply affected by the pandemic this year in Bourne, known as the Gateway to Cape Cod, according to Marie Oliva, president and CEO of the Cape Cod Canal Region Chamber of Commerce.

Many large festivals, including Cape Cod Canal Day, had to be canceled and weekly outdoor concerts had to be stopped, Oliva said. Those activities typically attract a lot of people to the region, she said.

Whether tourism will return next year is a big question mark for Oliva.

“It is very difficult to plan when you don’t have specific information on when things might turn around,” she said.

Provincetown also had a very different tourism experience this year. All the nightlife was turned off, except for a few outdoor venues, and everyone was restricted to small group gatherings.

Tourism in town went much better than expected, said Anthony Fuccillo, the town’s director of tourism. Despite no parades or large group activities, a lot of people visited town, he said.

With the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines, Fuccillo said, he is optimistic about next year.

“People have been cooped up and want to bust out of their four walls,” Fuccillo said.

Still, many things are uncertain, Fuccillo said. He believes people will continue to wear masks and group gatherings will be limited all the way to the end of 2021.

“I think we will see it come back, but not back to what it was,” Fuccillo said. “Not quite yet.”

Read from source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/news/2021/01/01/cape-cod-tourism-industry-recovery-2021/4100201001/

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Tourism

ITB BERLIN: WORLD’S LARGEST TOURISM FAIR TO BE HELD ONLINE

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tourism– For the third time in a row, the tourism fair ITB Berlin is cancelled due to the Corona pandemic – this time, the high incidences and the virus variant Omicron thwart the plans of the ITB organizers.

Instead of the planned face-to-face trade show that should run from March 9 to 13, 2022, the tourism fair will now be held digitally.

The current pandemic situation and the associated tightened travel restrictions as well as the limitation of participants at major events would lead to a lack of planning certainty. Therefore, the events would be streamed either from March 8 or March 9-11, 2022. The exact start date has yet to be clarified.

“Of course, we also considered postponing ITB Berlin to summer, but after consulting with our partners we left it at the beginning of March, which is an important date for the travel industry, as the summer months represent the main operational phase for travel and tourism,” commented Martin Ecknig, CEO of Messe Berlin.

With digital offerings such as congress streaming and the Digital Business Day, as well as new regional travel events throughout the year, the industry will nevertheless be offered a high level of technically exciting content and new business opportunities in 2022. The focus will also be on how the industry can make itself more crisis-proof in the future and better prepare for future pandemics and serious events.

There will be no virtual trade show booths as at ITB 2022. A roadshow with several “small ITBs” in various cities in Europe is planned for the course of the year. However, the exact dates and locations have not yet been determined. All exhibitors for the large presence trade show in March would receive their deposits back in full and tickets already booked would also be refunded.

Besides going digital with ITB, Messe Berlin has responded to the current corona situation by canceling other events as well including the International Green Week 2022 and postponing Fruit Logistica. The exhibition company will do not hold any major events of its own in January and February 2022. The Green Week should have taken place from January 21st to 30th. Fruit Logistica has been postponed from February 9th to 11th to April 5th to 7th, 2022.
Both events are leading international trade fairs with global significance in their respective sectors and traditionally mark the start of the Berlin trade fair year.

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Tourism

ITB BERLIN: WORLD’S LARGEST TOURISM FAIR TO BE HELD ONLINE

Published

on

tourism– For the third time in a row, the tourism fair ITB Berlin is cancelled due to the Corona pandemic – this time, the high incidences and the virus variant Omicron thwart the plans of the ITB organizers.

Instead of the planned face-to-face trade show that should run from March 9 to 13, 2022, the tourism fair will now be held digitally.

The current pandemic situation and the associated tightened travel restrictions as well as the limitation of participants at major events would lead to a lack of planning certainty. Therefore, the events would be streamed either from March 8 or March 9-11, 2022. The exact start date has yet to be clarified.

“Of course, we also considered postponing ITB Berlin to summer, but after consulting with our partners we left it at the beginning of March, which is an important date for the travel industry, as the summer months represent the main operational phase for travel and tourism,” commented Martin Ecknig, CEO of Messe Berlin.

With digital offerings such as congress streaming and the Digital Business Day, as well as new regional travel events throughout the year, the industry will nevertheless be offered a high level of technically exciting content and new business opportunities in 2022. The focus will also be on how the industry can make itself more crisis-proof in the future and better prepare for future pandemics and serious events.

There will be no virtual trade show booths as at ITB 2022. A roadshow with several “small ITBs” in various cities in Europe is planned for the course of the year. However, the exact dates and locations have not yet been determined. All exhibitors for the large presence trade show in March would receive their deposits back in full and tickets already booked would also be refunded.

Besides going digital with ITB, Messe Berlin has responded to the current corona situation by canceling other events as well including the International Green Week 2022 and postponing Fruit Logistica. The exhibition company will do not hold any major events of its own in January and February 2022. The Green Week should have taken place from January 21st to 30th. Fruit Logistica has been postponed from February 9th to 11th to April 5th to 7th, 2022.
Both events are leading international trade fairs with global significance in their respective sectors and traditionally mark the start of the Berlin trade fair year.

Continue Reading

Tourism

ITB BERLIN: WORLD’S LARGEST TOURISM FAIR TO BE HELD ONLINE

Published

on

tourism– For the third time in a row, the tourism fair ITB Berlin is cancelled due to the Corona pandemic – this time, the high incidences and the virus variant Omicron thwart the plans of the ITB organizers.

Instead of the planned face-to-face trade show that should run from March 9 to 13, 2022, the tourism fair will now be held digitally.

The current pandemic situation and the associated tightened travel restrictions as well as the limitation of participants at major events would lead to a lack of planning certainty. Therefore, the events would be streamed either from March 8 or March 9-11, 2022. The exact start date has yet to be clarified.

“Of course, we also considered postponing ITB Berlin to summer, but after consulting with our partners we left it at the beginning of March, which is an important date for the travel industry, as the summer months represent the main operational phase for travel and tourism,” commented Martin Ecknig, CEO of Messe Berlin.

With digital offerings such as congress streaming and the Digital Business Day, as well as new regional travel events throughout the year, the industry will nevertheless be offered a high level of technically exciting content and new business opportunities in 2022. The focus will also be on how the industry can make itself more crisis-proof in the future and better prepare for future pandemics and serious events.

There will be no virtual trade show booths as at ITB 2022. A roadshow with several “small ITBs” in various cities in Europe is planned for the course of the year. However, the exact dates and locations have not yet been determined. All exhibitors for the large presence trade show in March would receive their deposits back in full and tickets already booked would also be refunded.

Besides going digital with ITB, Messe Berlin has responded to the current corona situation by canceling other events as well including the International Green Week 2022 and postponing Fruit Logistica. The exhibition company will do not hold any major events of its own in January and February 2022. The Green Week should have taken place from January 21st to 30th. Fruit Logistica has been postponed from February 9th to 11th to April 5th to 7th, 2022.
Both events are leading international trade fairs with global significance in their respective sectors and traditionally mark the start of the Berlin trade fair year.

Continue Reading

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