The COVID-19 pandemic and business closures wreaking economic havoc on the Dayton region delivered huge hits to travel and tourism revenue, including the cancellation of major events like the NCAA First Four basketball tournament games.
But the Dayton Convention and Visitors Bureau is fighting back, launching a series of videos dubbed “When the Time is Right,” reminding meeting planners to bring their events to Dayton when the coronavirus crisis abates.
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“The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged so many industries globally, nationally and locally, including the travel and tourism industry in Montgomery County,” said Jacquelyn Y. Powell, the bureau’s president and chief executive. “All organizations and businesses related to travel, tourism and hospitality are facing distressing financial challenges.”
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The state's stay-at-home order and social distancing rules have impacted restaurants, bars, hotels, performing arts venues, sports arenas and historic sites. On Wednesday officials announced the Vectren Dayton Air Show scheduled for June 27-28 would be postponed until later in the year, but did not set a date.
Four of the major canceled events — First Four, Hamvention, Winter Guard International championships and the Interchurch Holiness Convention — together attract nearly 105,000 people each year, Powell said.
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She said First Four, Winter Guard and Interchurch Holiness have committed to returning to Dayton in 2021 and her team is focused on developing strategies to make sure that the region is “positioned to welcome back groups of all types.”
Hamvention will return to Greene County next year.
The Dayton Convention and Visitors Bureau videos are available on the bureau's website and the three currently posted focus on sports, faith-based and military events.
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The videos feature footage from local events and attractions that are near and dear to the Dayton region and attract visitors from across the globe. Each ends with the message, “We are in this together.”
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“Our community is well-known for collaborating through the most difficult times,” Powell said. “The Dayton Convention & Visitors Bureau is proud to be a part of those collaborative efforts to ensure we have a strong economy, including the travel and tourism industry, when this crisis is over.”
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