Savannah leaders monitoring COVID-19 as tourism season begins


SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The coronavirus outbreak has caused massive disruption around the Peach State. Businesses, schools, and travel are all being impacted.

With talks of the coronavirus still sweeping the nation organizations here at home like Visit Savannah are monitoring the impacts, this may have on the city’s tourism.

Savannah is just beginning its tourism season and businesses are holding out hope. The tourism season in Savannah is in full swing. People are traveling from around the country to see the city in all its beauty while taking pictures on Bay Street and grabbing a bite to eat on the riverfront.

“We get calls from folks around the country that are planning to visit Savannah and they want to know what’s going on here,” Visit Savannah President, Joe Marinelli said.

Marinelli said his office has received more than enough calls regarding the coronavirus. Visitors are asking if it’s safe to travel to the hostess city for the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

“If the festival happens or doesn’t happen if the parade happens or doesn’t happen Savannah’s open for business,” Marinelli said.

Marinelli says about 29,000 people in the Savannah-Chatham County tourism industry are delighted to give the best of themselves for thousands of guests. Tybee Island is a hot tourist spot for St. Patrick’s Day and beyond.

“We’re ready! We’re ready for people to come out and have fun. The city is taking precautions because we are having training with our fire department, with our lifeguards, with our police force and our staff to just make sure we know what to do in the event that things take a downturn,” Tybee Island Mayor Shirley Sessions said.

Marinelli said Savannah hasn’t dealt with an epidemic of this magnitude before but remains hopeful that people will continue coming to the hostess city.

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