Block Island Times

Forecasts predict tourism down 50 percent

Block Island’s Tourism Director Jessica Willi said during an online meeting on Tuesday, April 21 that while Block Island is positioned to have some seasonal business return for the 2020 summer, tourism is expected to decline by as much as 50 percent from previous years.
The reason why Block Island may be better positioned, Willi said, is because 90 percent of the travelers who do come here are “domestic leisure travelers,” as Willi described them, who come for day trips and shorter stays.
“Block Island does not rely on huge events” that are major revenue sources for the community, said Willi.
She said that the news that has come out in the past few days has been especially alarming, such as the fact that the Gateway Center in Newport has decided to close for the summer due to the fact that it cannot be staffed.
Willi said Providence expects “massive, massive declines.”
“Those were interesting reports,” said Willi.
Tourism Councils across the state have been cutting staff, cancelling events and suspending printed tourism guides, she said.
She said another reason Block Island is well-positioned is that people are looking for safe places to travel to. She said tourists

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