In an assembly meeting at the Capitol on Wednesday, tourism & hospitality representatives said their industry is being “decimated” and could take at least five years to recover.Tourism and hospitality is Monterey County’s 2nd largest industry generating $3.2 billion in visitor spending last year, according to the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau.Martin Morones at English Ales Brewery in Marina said businesses has been extremely slow after what started off a strong year. But then the pandemic came, and it has changed more than just the way he looks when pouring beer.”A big part of this (being a bartender) is when you have someone at the bar you have that communication you’re having and you lose some of that when you have to go outside,” Morones said.But like nearly all businesses, they’ve been forced to adapt and get creative while Monterey County is not allowed to have indoor dining while it’s in the state’s widespread tier, the most restrictive tier.”Probably about 3 and a half weeks ago or so, our owners were able to built this outdoor patio we have now,” Morones said.The outdoor patio has allowed the restaurant to have more customers and keep itself afloat, but like the rest of the state, it’s no where near pre-pandemic levels.”Certainly COVID has not been kind to the hospitality industry, and we’ve felt the impacts immediately,” Visit California CEO Caroline Beteta said to lawmakers.Last year California saw a record nearly $145 billion generated in travel spending. By comparison, 2020 is projected to generate about $66 billion in travel spending.“We are not due to recover to those 2019 numbers for five years. It’s basically pushed us back an entire decade,” Beteta said. “And this is from the perspective and data analytics that was based on the availability of a vaccine and another round of federal stimulus.”The Monterey County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau has estimated that the county could lose $1 billion by the end of the year. That would result in significant losses to local tax revenues and jobs. It’s why Morones says finding ways to adapt is critical.”Having this patio outside has helped so much. When we only had three tables, now we have 12 tables so that’s bringing in a lot more so that’s allowing us to have servers too. So not just a bartender, but also a server, and that’s just more people that work which is really important for our community,” Morones said.
In an assembly meeting at the Capitol on Wednesday, tourism & hospitality representatives said their industry is being “decimated” and could take at least five years to recover.
Tourism and hospitality is Monterey County’s 2nd largest industry generating $3.2 billion in visitor spending last year, according to the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Martin Morones at English Ales Brewery in Marina said…