Spain Kick Starts Tourism After COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Lock Downs
International Travel News Summer 2020
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June 25, 2020


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Spain Kick Starts Tourism After COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Lock Downs!
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New Health Precautions Permits the Re-opening of Eight North Carolina Welcome Centers
As of June 17, 2020, eight of the nine North Carolina Welcome Centers are now back open for the traveling public, after being closed due to the Stay at Home order related to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The sole location still closed is I-77 South in Charlotte, which is closed until at least July due to interior renovations. The I-40 West Welcome Center in Waynesville reopened after extensive renovations, after having been closed since December 2018; the welcome center staff had been operating out of the Haywood County TDA's visitor center during the renovation project. In addition, I-95 North Welcome Center has reopened in Pleasant Hill, after being closed since April 2019 for renovations; the staff had operated out of the Halifax County CVB visitors center.

The N.C. Welcome Centers have modified operations to limit visitor contact with the brochure stock. They are promoting social distancing with visible signage, partitions and distance markings, plus recognizing a reduced maximum occupancy for visitors. In addition, staff are wearing masks and gloves. Working primarily from the reception desk and behind health partitions, travel counselors will provide visitors with state maps marked with itineraries/directions, N.C. Travel Guides and specific destinations' guides and brochures. Materials will be placed in a "North Carolina takeaway bag" and then passed to the visitor below the partition.

During the Visit NC webinar, Wally Wazan reported the success of the re-opening's of the Welcome Centers, which began on June 11, 2020. In the first week, most of the Welcome Centers averaged 60-95 visitors inside per day - which was much higher than anticipated. Visitors to the mountain region Welcome Centers were seeking outdoor recreation info (hiking trails, state parks, camping). Visitors to other Welcome Centers were seeking info about beaches and outdoor recreational activities. Some Welcome Centers did book hotel reservations for visitors while still observing precautions.

The NC Welcome Centers and Inquiry Program staff are participating in Count On Me NC. The Certificates of Completion will be displayed accordingly at each site.

Source: Visit NC
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