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Resources & Latest News on COVID-19: Learn More
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COVID-19 Information & Materials for the Travel Industry

Travel and tourism are essential to our lives and businesses. It’s important that the GFLCVB’s mission of connecting visitors with experiences, and supporting our tourism industry, Broward County’s number one economic engine, continues at times like this. With the unimaginable impacts on tourism of COVID-19, our focus right now is on communicating with and supporting all of you, our valued local industry partners.

We know everyone is taking extraordinary safety measures at properties that remain open, or may be under temporary reduction or suspension of service. The impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry and the entire U.S. economy is monumental and many of our colleagues are out of work, but our industry is resilient. We are here to support you and work together with you to get through this time of crisis and lead the industry to recovery.

Below you'll find information on business assistance, employment resources and for new marketing initiatives we invite you to participate in.

Key Talking Points / FAQs

Is Greater Fort Lauderdale a safe place to visit? 

  • Our highest priority remains the safety and well-being of our visitors and residents and we continue to monitor information from local, state and federal health and government officials to do whatever is necessary to lessen the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
  • Both local governments and private businesses have adopted aggressive cleaning practices at public and private locations, including the airport, seaport, hotels, restaurants and attractions.
  • Every traveler should monitor news and notifications and make decisions based on their needs.

How the CVB is leading the way? 

  • The Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB believes in the resilience of the tourism industry and in our community.
  • Interim promotional efforts to support our local businesses are underway.
  • Planning is actively underway for recovery marketing directed to the drive market and local staycation audiences.
  • Education and preparation are key to our destination’s recovery and the CVB is researching the situation daily and studying all recommendations from industry leaders and associations.
  • We are communicating to travelers and our local tourism partners through daily updates on the CVB's COVID-19 Health Advisory page on sunny.org.
  • We are also communicating through the sunny.org website, social media and news media about beaches and attractions that are either open, closed or offering virtual experiences through videos or social media live streaming, and about what food services are available from local restaurants restricted from dining room service.
  • On social media, we will continue to post updates on Twitter and direct our @VisitLauderdale followers on all channels to the CVB's advisory page.

Advice for Tourism Businesses

What is the impact on Greater Fort Lauderdale’s tourism businesses and the local economy – or estimated impact?

  • Tourism is the number one economic engine and the largest source of employment in Broward County.
  • COVID-19 and the resulting travel restrictions and orders for social distancing will have a significant impact, but it is too early to say the extent. Much depends on the length of travel restrictions and suspensions on events and gatherings.
  • In 2019, more than 13 million people visited Greater Fort Lauderdale. They spent more than $8 billion in the destination.
  • Strong spring break attendance was noted the first week of March, prior to the cities of Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach closing access to beaches on March 15 to discourage very large crowds of spring breakers and enact social distancing.
  • Most hotel-based group business meetings have cancelled for the next several months.
  • Data on the impacts of cancelled group and individual reservations is not yet available, but the economic impact of these cancellation will eventually be tabulated by the CVB.
  • There is a significant drop-off in international travel due to travel restrictions put in place by the U.S. and other countries, but Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is open.
  • When more is known about the status of COVID-19 in the U.S. and cases begin to decline, we do expect an increase in travel to our area from Floridians and U.S. residents. Why? Because historically domestic travel bounces back quickly after crisis situations – as happened after 9-11.
  • The CVB is planning now to take full advantage of the eventual economic recovery. The CVB is closely monitoring consumer travel sentiments and building appropriate brand messages to address these difficult circumstances.
  • We are ensuring that our multiple group sales and leisure travel communications channels are disseminating accurate and up-to-date information.

What major trade shows or conferences have cancelled at the convention center due to coronavirus?

  • The Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center closed in February for start of construction on the pre-planned $1 billion expansion project. Since there were no conferences scheduled until late 2021 (when Phase One of the expansion opens) there is no impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. The full expansion will be complete in mid-2023.

Where can I go with questions related to COVID-19?

  • The COVID-19 Hotline, 954-357-9500, established in partnership between Broward County and the Florida Department of Health in Broward, is available 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., daily.

  • The COVID-19 Hotline answers caller's questions and performs over-the-phone assessments for testing eligibility, before referring callers to the Department of Health for testing.

  • For the latest updates, visit FloridaHealth.gov, email COVID-19@flhealth.gov or call the FDOH Call Center at 866-779-6121 or 954-357-9500.

  • To learn more about what Broward County is doing, visit Broward.org/Coronavirus.

  • The COVID-19 Hotline, 954-357-9500, established in partnership between Broward County and the Florida Department of Health in Broward, is available 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., daily.
  • The COVID-19 Hotline answers caller's questions and performs over-the-phone assessments for testing eligibility, before referring callers to the Department of Health for testing.
  • For the latest updates, visit FloridaHealth.gov, email COVID-19@flhealth.gov or call the FDOH Call Center at 866-779-6121 or 954-357-9500.
  • To learn more about what Broward County is doing, visit Broward.org/Coronavirus.

CARES ACT

U.S. Travel Association Summary of the CARE Act (H.R. 748) as of March 25, 2020: 
The CARES Act, the largest economic relief package in our nation’s history, was signed into law on March 27 and includes major provisions U.S. Travel fought for to deliver economic support to travel businesses, travel workers and their families. Read more.

 RESOURCES FOR BUSINESSES/EMPLOYERS

F&B INDUSTRY RELIEF FUNDS

ARTS & CULTURE INFORMATION

Broward County Cultural Division
For current grant recipients, the County is currently looking at options that may provide assistance by adjusting your current grant. For now, there are options for individual Artists and non-profit organizations to receive support as a result of the CARES Act.

  • For non-profit organizations, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) through the Small Business Administration authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses (includes non-profits) to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. The application is available starting Friday, April 3, 2020 for small business and sole proprietorships. Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses.
  • Please reach out to your bank for more information and click HERE for a PPP Information Sheet put together by the US Treasury. The Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce has also created a podcast regarding the CARES Act, which includes information on PPP. You can find the podcast linked, HERE.

Helpful Tips:  

  • REPORT THE STATUS OF YOUR cancelled, postponed and/or closed grant-funded events and facilities
  • Grantees receiving program/project grants who have had grant-funded events cancelled/postponed, click here.
  • Grantees receiving operating grants that have had to close their facilities, click here.
  • If you are a grantee that receives both operational and program/project support, please complete both surveys.
  • Please don’t forget to update any changes to events listed on ArtsCalendar.com, which now has a new section of online/virtual opportunities.

Helpful Links:

RESOURCES FOR RE-EMPLOYMENT

COVID-19 TOOLKITS

COVID-19 LIVE TRACKERS

COVID-19 INFORMATION LINKS 

 

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