By Jack Wert Executive Director Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB
- The U.S. Small Business Administration announced they have reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants, including U.S. small businesses and nonprofits. Applications are reopened to other industries in need of relief. For more information on EIDL programs, please reference this fact sheet.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated guidelines for events and gatherings. The CDC recommends that event planners and officials “determine, in collaboration with state and local health officials, whether and how to implement these considerations, making adjustments to meet the unique needs and circumstances of the local community.”
Travel Industry Updates
- The U.S. Travel Association will continue to focus on communicating to Congress the health and safety measures our industry is collectively implementing to restore confidence in traveling again.
- The WNBA became the latest sports league to finalize its return, announcing on Monday a 22-game season to take place in Bradenton, Florida. Major League Soccer also announced its return plans last week, outlining a 26-team tournament to take place in Orlando, Florida, from July 8 to August 11, and the PGA Tour with the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas.
Travel Research Findings:
Arrivalist’s Daily Travel Index indicates that summer travel is on the uptick. 10 percent more Americans hit the road on the weekend of June 12th than on Memorial Day. The Daily Travel Index hit +81.8 percent on Friday, June 12th–a full ten points higher than the index of +71.5 percent observed on Friday, May 22nd, the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. The past weekend’s measured road trip activity was on par with activity seen in the weeks leading up to the pandemic, including the weeks where most schools in the U.S. dismiss for Spring Break.
Longwoods American Travel Sentiment Study has released its latest results from last week. Here are a few insights to note:
- The recent official and media reports of spikes/surges of new cases of COVID-19 in almost half of the states, appear to be having an impact on travel sentiment by flattening some of the positive trends we have been seeing since mid-May.
- Those changing travel plans, and those saying the pandemic will greatly impact upcoming travel plans remained unchanged from where they were two weeks ago.
- Support for opening the community to visitors also saw a slight dip to 41 percent from two weeks ago.
- On the positive side, concern about the economy greatly impacting travel plans has dropped back to 17 percent… where it was on March 11th.
- The data shows that travelers are more likely to support those businesses that demonstrate a clear thorough cleaning and hygiene plan (43 percent), which test staff and the use of PPE by staff (34 percent), and those that have controls on social distancing.
Fort Myers International Airport (RSW) Safety Plan
The program is called Stay Safe – RSW Cares About You. Some of the measures passengers will see as part of the comprehensive plan are the addition of hand sanitizer stations; social distancing signage, announcements and floor markers throughout the terminal; Plexiglas shields at all customer touchpoints and the use of masks in public areas. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Airport Authority implemented increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting in high-traffic areas of the terminal and car rental facility to include ticket counters, baggage claim and restrooms, as well as the concourses and gate hold areas at Southwest Florida International Airport. Janitorial staff also performs disinfectant fogging several evenings a week at security checkpoints, ticket counters and gate hold areas.