DETROIT – After a year which COVID impacted the hospitality industry, signs of life are starting to show.
Claude Molinari, president of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, said five conventions have already been booked for 2022.
“I see demand for travel really growing in the next several months,” Molinari said.
READ: Americans set another pandemic-era record for air travel
To spur that along, the convention and visitors bureau is aggressively marketing immersive specialty short trip packages.
“For foodies, there’s an overnight stay that includes meeting a top class chef and learning to make special dishes,” Molinari said.
The pit that COVID put the industry in is a deep. According to the Professional Convention Management Association. the United States lost out in $300 billion and $1 trillion globally.
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Detroit tourism seeks rebound after year lost to pandemic
Timothy Tharp has owned businesses in Detroit long enough to remember when parts of downtown resembled a ghost town. He’s also seen its resurgence with new restaurants, hotels and throngs of people since the city’s emergence from bankruptcy.
Then came COVID-19 and people stopped coming. Tharp estimates his three restaurants and bars have lost a combined $1 million since March 2020.
But now as vaccinations increase and government-ordered lockdowns and restrictions are lifted, Tharp believes the coronavirus pandemic could be remembered as just another hurdle the Motor City has overcome.