Savannah works to revitalize tourism industry

Savannah works to revitalize tourism industry

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Hostess City is trying to revitalize its tourism industry.

After a major setback from the coronavirus, the city wants to see more leisure travelers this summer.

Last week, Savannah city council voted to spend around $600,000 on a marketing campaign to bring visitors back. That money comes from the Federal Aviation Administration's CARES Act grant, meant to help stimulate air travel to and from the Savannah market.

It’s been a tough two months for the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport. There have been very few passengers waiting for flights and no lines at the check-in counters or security checkpoint. And many of the businesses in the airport are closed.

Airport officials hope to change that soon. They say last month, its passenger traffic was down by 97-percent.

The airport plans to use the CARES Act grant money to launch a new digital campaign letting other markets and airlines know that Savannah is back in business and that the hospitality industry is taking the appropriate steps to keep them safe during their stay.

The airport's marketing director says as word gets out, they hope to start seeing more people coming and going from the airport resulting in more businesses opening back up as well.

"As we get more people in, the vendors are going to want to be here as well. We try to share with them when we have full flights. But we all have to go through our little motions to get to that point. But I hope that by mid-June we should be in full force at least in what we can offer our passengers," said Lori Lynah, Savannah Airport Commission Marketing Director.

​Partners in the marketing effort are Visit Savannah and the Hilton Head-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Golden Isles and St. Simon’s Island.

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