CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Officials with Explore Charleston report the area’s hospitality and tourism industry has potentially lost more than a billion dollars because of closures related to the coronavirus.
Now, the region’s marketing organization is working to bring visitors back to the Holy City by targeting travelers from nearby states.
Their new video message, created by local production agency Vive Media, is selling Charleston’s reputation for hospitality as hotels, restaurants, and other businesses reopen.
“We’ve missed y’all,” the video’s narrator states. “We’ve taken the time to do some spring cleaning, gotten our hands dirty, whether it be in garden gloves or rubber gloves. Heck, we’ve even taken time to polish the silver for y’all.”
The advertising campaign is focused on tourists who desire a destination within driving distance, according to Michelle Woodhull, a member of Explore Charleston’s COVID-19 Recovery Task Force
“A lot of uncertainty in how people will feel about traveling on airplanes, and so for that reason we’ve really targeted an 8-hour drive radius from Charleston,” Woodhull said.
The Charleston-area’s hospitality and tourism industry hopes to regain its footing after the coronavirus forced them to close.
“March through May is the strongest season in Charleston, so it did happen at a very unfortunate time,” Woodhull said. “The financial impact of that will be huge for our industry because that is when we make a lot of our profits.”
Officials said the process to reopen is slow and uncertain, but Charleston has more safeguards than most areas struggling to return to normal.
“I think the impact here will be minimal compared to a lot of the other places in the country,” Woodhull said. “I think because of our attractiveness with all we have to offer and all of the outdoor activities and things like that, I’m really hoping that we will be able to bounce back easier and quicker than some of these large, metropolitan areas.”