Visit Pensacola COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update #8
Dear Tourism Stakeholder:
I am your new President/CEO, Darien Schaefer, and am finishing up my first week here in Pensacola. I am very excited to join Visit Pensacola and to promote one of the best beach destinations in the nation.
I understand this is a challenging time for the Pensacola area and will remain focused on helping the tourism industry recover from the COVID-19 pandemic as quickly as possible. I am looking forward to meeting and working with partners, stakeholders, and the Pensacola community.
As each week passes and these unchartered times continue, Visit Pensacola strives to continue as a resource to our partners, stakeholders, and community with the most current updates. Please join us at next week's virtual board meeting to hear from myself and the Visit Pensacola team. Click here to register for the board meeting.
Next week our team will announce the schedule for National Travel and Tourism Week. This national campaign is an annual event that encourages the hospitality and tourism industry to come together and celebrate just how important tourism is in our community. While the week may look a little different this year, the celebration of Pensacola’s hospitality and tourism industry will remain. The theme this year is “The Spirit of Travel,” and the Visit Pensacola team is working on virtual plans to celebrate YOU.
The focus of these updates remains to provide partners, stakeholders, community leadership, and past and future visitors with resources to help them in their times of need, continue supporting those businesses in the Pensacola area and to develop and implement in due time, a strong comeback campaign.
Help Out, Take Out: designed to assist all restaurants, bars and breweries now offering curbside and to-go options. Visit www.visitpensacola.com/pensacola-to-go/ to ensure your business is listed.
Virtual Pensacola: created for all to share virtual live events, experiences, and activities. From cooking demonstrations, fitness classes, live music sessions, and more, we invite you to keep adding so we can continue to share our destination experiences. Click here to visit Virtual Pensacola.
Video Conference Backgrounds: snap a selfie and tag us in your next meeting.
#TravelMemories: Share your favorite Pensacola memories to Instagram and Facebook stories by tagging @visitpensacola and hashtagging #TravelMemories. We hope to flood social media with the very best of our destination.
Visit Pensacola's marketing partner, Showcase Pensacola, prepared a report based on COVID-19-related industry research. We want to share this with our stakeholders to help you understand what's happening in the travel space. More importantly, having this information helps us work together as we move forward. Marketing Trends
As of today, the following remains in effect for Escambia County:
- On April 3, 2020, Governor DeSantis has placed a Safer at Home, executive order. This order encourages all Florida residents to only leave their homes for essential services and activities. Essential services include activities such as going to work, the grocery store, picking up prescriptions, and taking care of pets.
- The Escambia County Board of County Commissioners voted 4-1 April 2, 2020, to extend the public beach closure until further notice. This includes public beach areas, public beach access ways and public beachfront parks. Boat ramps remain open to the public.
- On March 17, Escambia County activated its Emergency Operations Center at a level 2 and declared a local state of emergency. Visit Pensacola is participating in this initiative and will continue to send the most up to date information we receive within our community as well as within the tourism industry.
- Governor DeSantis has directed all restaurants and food establishments within the State of Florida to suspend on-premises food and alcohol consumption for customers. The establishments may, however, operate their kitchens to provide delivery or take-out services.
- The Executive Order also requires the closures of gymnasiums and fitness centers within the State of Florida.
- The Visit Pensacola visitor centers and the Pensacola Beach visitor center in an abundance of caution are operating as a "Virtual Offices." Staff continues to provide the latest COVID-19 information and resources to help keep the traveling public informed; however, lobby doors are locked to public access.
- The Santa Rosa Island Authority office remains closed to the public in order to protect the public health and safety of its staff. Customers will be assisted via email or telephone.
Visit Pensacola's healthy travel page with up to date travel information and reliable trusted sources information related to COVID-19.
Loan Programs Are Available for Your Business:
Apply for the US Chamber Small Business Grant Starting Monday
Apply for the Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Grant Program Starting Monday
Apply for SBA Small Business Disaster Loans
CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program Information
The Florida Department of Health in Escambia County Coronavirus Call Center is now available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1 (866) 779-6121 or you can email your questions to COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org
Visit floridahealth.gov for the most up-to-date resource for information and guidance regarding COVID-19 in Florida.
We will continue to keep you informed of any new developments.
About Visit Pensacola
Visit Pensacola is the destination organization for Escambia County which includes Pensacola, Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key. With over 450 years of rich history and 18 miles of sugar-white sand beaches bordered by the emerald-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico, visitors from all over the world are lured to our pristine shores every year. Visit Pensacola supports the community vision of tourism by serving as the central body responsible for building tourism as an economic engine for our community through leadership, connection, collaboration and communication.