Summer time is a pivotal time for the journey and tourism business. Specialists have been sharing insights on how these within the business can improve income to offset the deeply felt impacts of the pandemic as we gear up for the summer time season. Throughout this time, I’ve been excited about what I’ve witnessed firsthand this previous 12 months at Arkansas’ solely theme and water park.
All through the course of a 12 months, our park skilled unexpected financial challenges, however in contrast to many points of interest throughout the nation, we have made it to the opposite facet. Although COVID-19 introduced crises that had been new to my years of expertise, native help and belief introduced us via. Now, as we glance towards life post-pandemic, our state’s points of interest and vacationer places want native help greater than ever.
Early on, many widespread vacationer locations had been compelled to close down out of an abundance of warning or adapt to new protocols rising the fee operations and dramatically reducing income. In 2020, the journey business within the U.S. noticed a 42% lower in travel-related spending as a result of mandated closures. The Arkansas Division of Parks, Heritage and Tourism reported that just below 69,000 Arkansans labored instantly inside the state’s journey business in 2019, with tourism producing greater than $400 million in state tax income. Regardless that we noticed this business get hit particularly arduous in 2020, we additionally noticed Arkansans doing what they may to help native companies and preserve such an crucial a part of our state’s financial system afloat.
Rising tendencies in our business are revealing a fair greater want for native help in 2021. Evaluation by Tourism Economics reveals that Individuals need to expertise the charming great thing about nature and enjoyable outside actions for his or her journey plans whereas additionally visiting locations that they’ll belief to be dedicated to the general security of their company. These are all issues which are culturally embedded and distinctive to our state and supply our business an opportunity to attract our native and outer markets again. Nonetheless, consultants have additionally found that round 58% of vacationers in America do not plan on pursuing main journey plans till a minimum of the second half of the 12 months as they work towards regaining confidence in touring out of state. With this delay, tourism entities like us depend on our native markets to provide the sustaining share of our income.
Arkansans nonetheless must know that they’ll belief us to advocate for his or her security once they go to numerous points of interest and locations, regardless of the altering COVID-19 panorama. In 2020, we redoubled our dedication to providing a protected, enjoyable place for households and thrillseekers to collect open air throughout unusual instances. Working alongside state and native officers, our staff at Magic Springs was capable of shortly pivot, implementing new protocols to guard our workers and company. These measures performed a vital position in us garnering native help and belief. Each one who walked via that entrance gate mattered greater than ever and we feature this angle with us into 2021.
As we start navigating the brand new regular, the significance of belief and security will turn out to be increasingly more very important for journey and tourism. Because of this we are going to proceed to do what we are able to to guard our company and reassure them that once they come to go to our water park, trip thrill rides, attend particular occasions or go to our live shows, our dedication to preserving them and their households protected is unwavering.
As business stakeholders, this pandemic has strengthened to us that, whereas we do have our outer markets to bolster income in “regular” instances, finally, having native help and belief is integral to our business and can be key to its restoration shifting ahead. Arkansans put their belief in us and supported us via final 12 months, and we now have to be simply as dedicated to security and enjoyable as all of us look to a post-COVID-19 future.
Jack Bateman is the final supervisor of Magic Springs Theme & Water Park in Scorching Springs.