In an amazing and in-depth article, Vermont Business Magazine dissected the numbers and showed the impact of the coronavirus on tourism last year.
According to Heather Pelham, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing, Vermont, with its many ski resorts in the winter and bustling Lake Champlain in the summer, has lost $700 million in sales, which is normally $3 billion a year.
Pelham shared this information during a hearing on the 9th. in February before the House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development.
So the estimates we’re seeing so far are preliminary numbers, but so far we’re seeing a loss of $48 million in taxes (revenue) for rooms and pensions, Pelham told the committee.
According to the State Department of Revenue, preliminary revenue from taxable lounge purchases and meals for the first three quarters of 2020 is $1 billion, up from $1.53 billion in the previous period in 2019.
In an interview with the magazine, Pelham said the tourism and travel industry in the state is still in crisis.
It is a very resilient industry that has tried to respond to every stage of the process … But it is a sector that has been hit harder than any other, she says.
Part of this loss is due to travel restrictions imposed by the government to contain the pandemic.
Even with the travel restrictions in place, Pelham says the department continues to urge people to think about Vermont, keep it at the top of their calendar and make plans, even though the schedule may be more delayed than in a normal year.
Vermont’s hotel density in 2020 was even lower than the national average (44% last year).
Perhaps the greatest success is Vermont’s ski resorts, which are among the best in the country. Molly Mahar of the Vermont Ski Areas Association told the Vermont Business Journal that the season was slow to get going and that weather was a factor.
But she adds that ski resorts want to offer more open terrain so skiers can spread out more.
They may have already opened ski areas, but they were waiting for a little more territory to open, said Mahar, executive director of the VSAA.
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