CLEVELAND (WJW) — From the Rock Hall to Progressive Field to the Playhouse Square District, for more than two months, tourism has been non-existent due to COVID-19, with Cuyahoga County alone losing up to $100 million in hospitality revenue streams.
And now, an aggressive campaign has been unveiled to bring back visitors.
David Gilbert, President & CEO of Destination Cleveland, said, “Lots of real-time studies are showing that we need to be community focused and start with our residents before we invite travelers back.”
The campaign is called, Undefeated. It’s a 3-phase collaboration with Destination Cleveland, city and county leaders, the board of health and all three major hospital systems.
The goal is to jumpstart the local economy, making safety top priority.
“It’s not easy and it’s very unfortunate, but we have to do what we have to do to be responsible. We can’t just bury our heads in the sand,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish.
In phase one, pending council approval, Cuyahoga County has committed $700,000 in funding from its Federal Cares Act dollars, to support the Clean Committed program, which will allow for the production and distribution of more than 3,000 clean kits for tourism, restaurants and ultimately residents.
The kits will be equipped with hand sanitizer packets, paper masks and recommended safety practices to follow when out in the community.
“Consumer need visual assurances of cleanliness and that it is being prioritized.”
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said, “This is a plan for reopening, and do it right and do it in a way that will be sustainable.”
They’re hoping to ensure locals get back out, inspiring “staycations” with family and friends this summer.
The program gets underway on June 3.
And businesses, including restaurants, hotels and hospitality venues who choose to participate, will have materials to post in their establishments to illustrate clean practices.