A year of return for tourism? | Editorials

A St. Joseph resident who has been to Kansas City may have noticed something familiar about the big city buses.

Ads on the side of Kansas City public buses showed the familiar Pony Express logo and the Wyeth Tootle Mansion, among other landmarks. Other buses showed the downtown skyline of our city with a message “Explore St. Joseph’s Heritage”.

Even the most self-defeating St. Joseph resident should admit that this promotion has made our town a great place to visit. That’s the point.

An entity called Adsposure agreed, giving the St. Joseph Convention & Visitors Bureau a Top Transit Award for its ads on four Kansas City buses. The CVB campaign beat out 106 nominees, including larger markets like Chicago and Dallas, in the “biggest impact” category.

“This is a testament to the strength of CVB’s marketing initiatives and the rich history and heritage that St. Joseph offers travelers from across the region,” said Bob Frohoff, executive director of Adsposure.

“It’s good for them,” the inhabitants of Saint-Joseph might say. It’s true, the CVB should feel a sense of accomplishment. Everyone likes to feel recognized in their profession.

But really, the reaction should be, “good for us.”

It’s no secret that tourism has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with health concerns and travel restrictions and large gatherings dealing a heavy blow to museums, concert halls, restaurants and hotels.

It doesn’t just hurt the CVB or sales tax collections that benefit St. Joseph and Buchanan County. The Economic Policy Institute found that job losses from February 2020 to February 2021 were greatest among workers in the leisure and hospitality, government, education and health services sectors. A year into the pandemic, the leisure and hospitality sector has faced the biggest jobs gap, with nearly 3.5 million fewer jobs in February 2021 than a year earlier. former.

These are not workers who were deemed “essential” and were able to stay on the job during the height of the COVID-19 lockdowns. But they are surely essential to the local economy and certainly to their families.

So if you ever come across an ad like this in Kansas City, consider it more than just a marketing campaign designed to entice Kansas City consumers to spend more money in St. Joseph.

It’s a sign of better days ahead for the tourism industry and hope for a recovery in 2022 that will do more than raise St. Joseph’s profile or boost museum and restaurant results.

This will benefit workers and small businesses that rely on the tourism industry to thrive again.

Comments are closed.