Destination Cleveland lays out plan for city’s comeback

Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 10:33 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Destination Cleveland believes the city is ready for a major comeback, despite concerns over the delta variant.

Experts predict the tourism industry won’t rebound until 2024, but Destination Cleveland CEO David Gilbert predicts the city will do so long before then.

36% of millennials are willing to consider a visit to Cleveland, up from 14% in years past, according to Gilbert.

“Huge sporting events, meetings, conventions that we have on the books for 2022 all the way to the way to 27-28. We have a tremendous foundation to grow back out of this very quickly,” David Gilbert said during Destination Cleveland’s annual meeting.

Just how fast The Land will see that growth depends, according to Gilbert. During the annual meeting presentation, Gilbert says research shows that people are pulling back on their travel plans because of the delta variant.

“Is that going to be for 2 weeks, 2 months, 6 months? We’re going to be prepared for whatever it is. You know right now the world is very unpredictable, but I think we’re ready,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert explained that another goal for Destination Cleveland is to make racial equity and inclusion a mission, not a moment.

“People that come here to spend money know where to spend with businesses that are owned by people of color. [It’s] critical for us; there hasn’t been enough of it,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert believes with the few weeks of summer weather still ahead, people will still travel to take advantage of outdoor events safely.

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