As the countries and cities all over the world begin to reopen for tourism, On the Monterey Peninsula is left behind as the hospitality industry is reporting a better than expected economic recovery.
“The weekends have been amazing, pretty much all of the hotels are selling out on weekends,” said Moe Ammar with the Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce.
According to the report by Ksbw8, On June 5. 2020 Monterey County officially welcomed backed tourists allowing hotels and attractions to reopen. In Pacific Grove hotels and inns were forecasting a 30 to 35 percent increase in business following the shutdown but instead are seeing a 45 to 50 percent increase in business.
The tourism industry is hoping business will pick up even more speed in July when the Monterey Bay Aquarium reopens. The Aquarium will reopen July 9 for members and July 13 to the public.
Attendance at the aquarium will be limited to a couple of hundred people an hour and will be done using timed entry. The Aquarium is the peninsula’s No. 1 tourist destination attracting on average 1.8 million people annually. On its busiest summer days, the attraction welcomes 14,000 guests but the summer of 2020’s numbers will be nowhere near that high. Even with fewer people Ammar still expects a big boost for business.
“Having the aquarium open back up is a game-changer for all of the hospitality, not just the hotels but the restaurants the attractions,” said Ammar.
The reopening of the county’s economy has coincided with a rise in COVID-19 cases. On Monday the county reported the highest one day increase in cases since the start of the pandemic with 66 new cases. A majority of those cases and all cases of COVID-19 are occurring in people living in Salinas and South County, but six of the new cases reported on Monday were in people living on the Peninsula.
The Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau has launched a travel responsibly campaign and is asking all visitors to wear face coverings when they patronize a business or cannot maintain six feet distance.