March 3, 2021

Rising coronavirus cases could hurt tourism’s momentum, hoteliers warn – Palm Beach Post

The rising coronavirus cases are a bitter pill for hoteliers who say their occupancy rates have been steadily growing since they were permitted to resume taking new reservations last month.

Palm Beach County’s struggling tourism industry could be derailed by rising numbers of coronavirus cases, even though proprietors have worked for weeks to send the message that their hotels are safe places for guests.

Rick Rose, proprietor of Grview Gardens Bed & Breakfast in West Palm Beach, said rising coronavirus cases are starting to hurt business.

“Because of our increased (virus) numbers, people are beginning to hesitate to come here. I’m getting calls from all over the place,” Rose said.

When the number of cases started to rise significantly a week ago, Rose said he immediately received a couple of cancellations. “And I got a cancellation just today, in fact,” he said on Tuesday.

Unfortunately, the bad news keeps coming.

On Wednesday, Florida reported a record number of new cases, 5,508 overnight. Palm Beach County’s cases increased by 356 to 11,536, with the death toll at 495.

Meanwhile, governors in New York, Connecticut New Jersey announced that visitors from Florida other coronavirus hotspot states must quarantine for 14 days.

New York’s move flips the quarantine issue on its head. In March, the Sunshine State announced that New Yorkers fleeing the virus would be quarantined when they arrived in Florida. After a strict lockdown, New York now is among the states with the lowest number of new coronavirus cases.

Rose was among several hoteliers who