With the D.C. area gradually reopening in the upcoming weeks, hospitality and tourism leaders joined a webinar panel to talk about the current roadblocks for the industry’s recovery and how to keep businesses afloat during the process.
Hosted by the Greater Washington Board of Trade, hospitality leaders, such as Kathy Hollinger with the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, shared their concerns on how to handle an employee who tests positive for COVID-19 without disrupting operations.
“I would say the biggest challenge right now is the inconsistency in guidelines,” Hollinger said.
When it comes to safety at establishments, Hollinger said she feels that there should be a shared responsibility between the restaurant operator and the customer, as “it takes a village around reopening.”
Jorge Perez, of MGM Resorts International, said a clear procedure is key when employees come down with the virus
“It’s the contact tracing, getting employees testing, sanitizing the space immediately and then having good, solid speaking points for your employees to set them at ease,” Perez said.
Elliott Ferguson, president and CEO of Destination DC, said one of the keys to recovery for the tourism business is focusing on certain markets, such as drivers who are likely avoiding air travel to get around.
“We want to market the fact that D.C. has a hundred free things to see and do, which will resonate with people who have budget issues but want to get out,” Ferguson said.
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