Published on : Tuesday, August 24, 2021
With the Delta variant surge across the country, states with low COVID vaccination rates are staggering with a loss in tourism dollars.
This is due to large event cancellations and postponements.
Of the 11 states with vaccination rates under 50%, Lousiana, Tennessee and Georgia have cancelled staple events.
This cost them hundreds of millions of dollars for local and state economies according to officials.
On August 9, organisers of New Orleans’ Jazz and Heritage Festival announced that the annual festival would be cancelled for the second consecutive year.
This cites the current exponential growth of new COVID cases in New Orleans and the region.
In a recent interview with ABC News, the Louisiana Department of Health seconded this concern.
A Lousiana health department spokesperson said that the state is in its fourth and most dangerous surge till date.
He also said that the surge has been fuelled by insufficient vaccination rates and the highly transmissible Delta variant.
As of August 20, less than 39% of the state’s population received their full doses of vaccine.
In Tennessee, the urban economies of Nashville and Memphis continue to dampen.
The situation is due to the decline of conferences, business and international travel, and concerts as stated by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development.
The second suspension of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival will have long-lasting negative tourism.
It will also tell upon the future of the events that are imminent.
It means bands and musicians who perform at local hot spots for a large share of their annual income will not have the opportunity to earn their living this year.
Last year, Tennessee tourism revenue decreased by 26% resulting in a loss of over $4.1 billion in the leisure and hospitality industry.
Tennessee Department of Revenue and Department of Labour and Workforce made this statement.