Coronavirus Will Slam States Dependent on Tourism

By: - March 16, 2020 12:00 am

A Delta airliner passes the Luxor Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. Nevada and Hawaii are the two states most vulnerable to a tourism downtown during the coronavirus crisis, according to a Stateline analysis. Larry MacDougal via AP

The new coronavirus will produce economic crises in the states and cities most dependent on tourism, with lower tax revenue resulting from empty hotel rooms and canceled trips, conventions and events.

However, analysts predict those economies may improve dramatically starting in several months if tourist facilities can hang on until the pandemic subsides. Residents cooped up by quarantines are likely to seek relief from cabin fever at beaches and casinos, some experts say.

The states most affected will be Nevada and Hawaii, which have by far the highest share of tourism in their economies, according to a Stateline analysis of federal Bureau of Economic Analysis figures on state-level economic output.

Hawaii already is projecting a $300 million hit to tax collections and a loss of 6,000 jobs in the service industry because of a decline in visitors, and Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman told the area’s convention authority board at its monthly meeting that publicity about coronavirus “is absolutely destroying us.”

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Tim Henderson
Tim Henderson

Tim Henderson covers demographics for Stateline. He has been a reporter at the Miami Herald, the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Journal News.