Travel expert says coronavirus will hit Music City tourism hard
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne) -- A travel expert says Nashville can expect to take a serious economic hit as the coronavirus pandemic takes hold.
Travel Weekly Editor Arnie Weissmann says the damage will be felt across what he calls “the entire travel ecosystem.” Local media report as many as 100 large conventions and meetings have already canceled their Nashville reservations.
But Weissman says the tourist industry has come back strong from equally damaging incidents, including the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, and the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. He says that, unlike other industries, tourism is location specific. Tourism businessess can’t simply pack up and leave town.
“The Grand Ole Opry just isn’t going to exist anywhere other than Nashville. So there’s a resilience to the industry. It does come back. How soon that’s going to be is going to be dependent on how long this is with us.”
Prior to the coronavirus, the most recent world-wide pandemic was the 2009 H1N1 outbreak. That pandemic lasted 17 months, ending in August of 2010.