CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) – Destination Cleveland released its recovery plan Wednesday after struggling to thrive through COVID-19.

Cleveland tourism is trying to bounce back from COVID-19 related losses.

© Michael Dakota
Cleveland tourism is trying to bounce back from COVID-19 related losses.

A release said the organization is 45 percent smaller than it was March 31. The workforce decrease stems from furloughs, layoffs and voluntary separations.


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The tourism industry was significantly challenged amid the pandemic.

The release said the lodging occupancy tax, which primarily funds Destination Cleveland, generates half of the income it previously produced.

According to statistics in the release, the United States’ travel economy is down $376 billion since March 1.

“We’re seeing signs of an industry rebound, and we’ve just completed a thorough recovery planning process that’s provided clarity and direction for the next 12-15 months – albeit with some continued uncertainty due to the ongoing presence of COVID-19,” David Gilbert, president and CEO of Destination Cleveland, said.

“We have our work cut out for us. We must look forward. This new plan will take the organization in the right direction so that we can keep travel and tourism advancing as a growth industry for Cleveland.”

The organization announced five goals it plans to implement over the next year in the release.

The goals are as follows: Ensure organizational sustainability, refocus sales and marketing, preserve the Cleveland experience, prioritize diversity and inclusion, and build community resiliency.

Destination Cleveland joined Ohio’s Responsible Reopening plan in May, according to the release.

The release said the organization is committed to helping Cleveland’s tourism and hospitality industry businesses conscientiously reopen.

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