North Dakota Tourism Industry Newsletter July 21, 2020

Commerce Department launches Economic Resiliency Grant program

The North Dakota Department of Commerce has announced an Economic Resiliency Grant program available to private companies for costs associated with improvements to their businesses for the purpose of reducing the spread of infection and instilling consumer confidence in the marketplace. Information on the grants, including business eligibility, is available here. Applications will open on July 31.

Grants of up to $50,000 per eligible business and up to $100,000 per eligible business with multiple locations will be available to qualifying businesses. The grants will be used to restore consumer confidence and reinvigorate our economy while ensuring the health and safety of customers and employees.

Tourism Industry Update call: Occupancy rates are climbing

If you missed the latest Tourism Industry Update call, here are the highlights:

  • Travel spending to North Dakota is improving, but losses now total more than $650 in visitor spending and $50 million in state and local tax revenue.
  • Hotel occupancy averaged 40% for the month of June. This is double the state’s occupancy at its lowest point in April, but a 38% decrease compared to June 2019.
  • Traffic to NDtourism.com is 20% higher than a year ago with visitors seeking information on outdoor recreational activities, hotels and campgrounds, maps, dining information, events, family-friendly activities, arts and museums and COVID-19 information.
  • The U.S.-Canada border closure for recreational travel has been extended to August 21.

Plan to join the next call on Monday, August 10, at 2 p.m. Click here to join the call.

Travelers prefer destinations requiring face masks

A Longwoods International tracking study conducted in July of American travelers found that 60% prefer destinations requiring face masks in public. One-third of those report they will visit ONLY destinations with mandatory face mask orders, while only 9% are less likely to visit a destination requiring face masks and 3% refusing to visit destinations requiring face masks.

“With the coronavirus pandemic surging across the country, the required use of face masks has become an important consideration when making travel decisions. Destinations which require face masks are likely to see more visitors than those who do not have such requirements.” - Amir Eylon, president and CEO of Longwoods International.

According to the survey, American travelers are again staying closer to home. The percent of those feeling safe traveling outside their communities has fallen to 38%, the lowest level since mid-May. About half of travelers say that the pandemic will greatly impact their decision to travel in the next six months, with that percentage steadily increasing in the past six weeks after previous declines.

Partner Access: Give visitors the information they are looking for

With more and more potential visitors planning trips, now is the time to make sure your information on NDtourism.com is updated. The best way to do that is through Partner Access. Take total control of your attraction, accommodation or event listings. Through Partner Access, you can update your listing as often as you like. And it’s FREE.

As restrictions ease, many events are being rescheduled. If you had an event removed from the site due to cancellation or indefinite postponement, please submit it again.

CVBs and chambers, please pass this information along to your members. Have them contact Scooter Pursley at North Dakota Tourism to retrieve their login information or to set up an account.

Also, listings for the North Dakota Travel guide are pulled from the website, so be sure your listings are correct.

NDPRA State Conference and ND Trails Conference

The Bismarck Parks and Recreation Department is hosting the 2020 NDRPA State Conference and ND Trails Conference jointly on Sept. 15-17 in Bismarck. North Dakota’s park and recreation professionals will join forces with trail users, advocates and managers from across the state for educational sessions and networking with peers.