Coronavirus pandemic causes $9.6M loss for Columbus economy

Coronavirus pandemic causes $9.6M loss for Columbus economy

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The coronavirus pandemic is taking a toll on Columbus’ economy, especially the tourism industry as warmer months are approaching.

It’s estimated that around 90 events have been canceled due to the virus, leaving a $9.6 million loss in the city’s pockets.

According to Peter Bowden, President and CEO of Visit Columbus, he estimates it’s a loss of roughly 40,000 people that otherwise would have visited the Chattahoochee Valley and supported the local economy. However, he said there is some good news.

"What we're looking at now and what our research is showing, is that because Columbus is a 'drive-to' market, we’re going to see that rebound from the leisure market recover faster for Columbus,” said Bowden. “All of our planning has been focused on that aspect because we have so much that appeals to that type of audience."

He said there may be a long road to recovery for the economy, but one way to help the Fountain City is by opting to support local businesses and restaurants that are staying open.

Copyright 2020 WTVM. All rights reserved.