COVID-19 Impact: Early San Francisco Bay Area Precautions Play a Role in Returning Tourists
And the hike was not lost on guest operations director Leah Van der Mei.
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“Oh, we were delighted for the past three weeks the spring break was really strong. And it was not just our local visitors to the Bay Area that we love, but we had people from the south of California, out of state, we even had internationals, ”Van der Mei says.
In a possible twist of fate, the same COVID crisis that is pushing visitors away from the Bay Area may now play a role in their return. Even with the crisis which begins to subside and to mask the changes of mandate.
Pablo Velasco and Ximena Paz arrived from Las Vegas, where she is an emergency nurse.
“I think I actually feel safer than in Las Vegas, people follow the restrictions a lot better. I see a lot of people wearing masks. It makes me feel safer,” Paz explains.
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Kru Mackenzie is a visiting tattoo artist from Atlanta. She agrees that the Bay Area’s sensitivities during the COVID crisis may have positioned it as a safe choice over other destinations.
“Yes, Atlanta is pretty lax, to say the least when it comes to COVID,” Mackenzie says.
Across the street at the de Young Museum, a growing number of tourists are also snapping up limited tickets to popular exhibitions such as the Calder-Picasso installation. Communications director Linda Butler said this was critical to the museum’s future, as around 40% of their normal visitor traffic comes from outside the Bay Area.
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“We’re really looking to restart them and bring them back to pre-pandemic levels. It’s very important to our economic recovery,” says Butler.
While some across the country may have scoffed at the Bay Area’s stricter stance on COVID measures, it may prove to be a wise long-term investment. As tourists decide if they will enter the raffle, from one of the world’s premier destinations.
The de Young and the Academy of Sciences say a surprising number of out-of-town visitors become regular subscribers and even online donors after returning home.
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