AUGUSTA, GA ( WJBF) — The travel and tourism industries took a major hit during the pandemic.
” As an industry we’ve lost 11,000 jobs in the metro region,” President/CEO of Augusta CVB Bennish Brown said.
As more and more people get vaccinated, tourism leaders hope the industry will see a comeback.
” With some of the restrictions that have been lifted across the state, restaurants will begin to come back bringing people back in to eat and also bringing employees back into work,” Brown said.
Tourism leaders also hope that comeback will include the convention center — which will be hosting a conference this summer.
” Over the next 6 months we have events coming to our convention center. One of the largest is Tech Net which is focused on the cyber industry,” Brown said.
Some local downtown businesses are already starting to see growth.
” I had at least 100 – 150 people in line an hour before we opened,” Theron Stephens said.
Theron Stephens, owner of Holy Shakes said after a successful grand opening two weeks ago, he hopes to continue to see a steady flow of business as more people get vaccinated this summer.
” I believe that when you go from getting vaccinated and social distancing and staying inside for a while, when you do come back out you’re ready and eager to get back into the city,” Stephens said.