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Palm Beach County tourism industry hopes to rebound from coronavirus pandemic

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Posted at 4:17 PM, May 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-07 18:48:02-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — It's National Travel and Tourism Week, and iconic Palm Beach County attractions are showing their support for the industry.

In early March, it was quiet at the West Palm Beach Visitor Center.

"We have seen over 118,000 in cancellations in business just over the past 30 days," said Kami Kreaps, the manager of the visitor center.

Their doors closed a few days after that interview and things only got worse.

"We have furloughed a couple of employees during this time and we have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue, and so many bookings through this process," said Kreaps.

Then the county decided to reopen marinas, allowing Visit Palm Beach to reopen part of their business.

"We’ll have kayak rentals and kayak tours, as well as our catamaran cruises that we do," said Kreaps.

Starting on May 15, their operations will look a little different.

"Markings that show people where they can stand with our staff, we are making sure that all the staff are having their temperatures taken beforehand. There’s a sink on board so staff can wash their hands," said Kreaps.

It’s one of many examples of how the tourism industry is adjusting to a new standard of hospitality.

On Friday, Discover the Palm Beaches is hosting a virtual town hall where tourism leaders will present the current economic state and recovery stages.

"Right now we are simply preparing for the time when we can go out their and market. This is what we call the health, safety, and confidence building time," said Jorge Pesquera, the President of Discover the Palm Beaches.

You can attend that virtual town hall by clicking here.