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States Hit Hardest by Coronavirus’ Impact on Tourism

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COVID-19 has had a major impact on tourism revenues across the country. Countless attractions, like Disney World and Broadway, are shut down for the foreseeable future. But some states are getting hit harder than others.

According to a new study by WalletHub, here are the five most impacted states in terms of tourism revenue:

  1. Hawaii
  2. Montana
  3. Nevada
  4. Vermont
  5. Massachusetts

The least-impacted states are Arkansas, Iowa, and Oklahoma.

New York ranks as the ninth most impacted state for tourism. It has the highest share of businesses in travel and tourism-related food industries. "That’s certainly not a surprise considering the state has nearly 40 percent of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S.,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst.

Nevada has the highest share of employment in travel and tourism-related accommodations industries.

And Hawaii’s $16 billion tourism economy is essentially on hold as hotels and beaches remain empty and Hawaii shelters in place.

“It’s probably no surprise that Hawaii is one of the states hit hardest by COVID-19 when it comes to travel and tourism because those industries comprise a far larger percentage of businesses in Hawaii than in other states, at 29 percent,” said Gonzalez. “While it’s well known that Hawaii is a popular tourist spot, many people don’t realize just how much of Hawaii’s GDP relies on travelers from all across the globe – 14 percent. Hawaii also has a greater share of consumer expenditures on travel than any other state.”

And how can Americans finally get back to enjoying museums, beaches, and shows?

“Americans should stay away from traditional tourism while this pandemic lasts, even if the cheap prices are enticing,” said Gonzalez. “Following proper social distancing protocols will ensure that the economy gets back on track as soon as possible."

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