State tourism campaigns are on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic, Tourism Secretary Sara Meaney said.

“We are not currently advertising outside the state, or inside the state for that matter, at the state Department of Tourism level,” Meaney said in an interview aired Sunday on “UpFront,” produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com.

“We’ve paused the normal timeline that we would have on an advertising campaign and a promotional campaign but we have everything ready to go for when it is clear,” Meaney said.

She said the state has lost $1.7 billion in tourism dollars since March 14.

“So what we have to think about is every week that’s $200 million, $220 million or more not spent on travel-related activities,” Meaney said.

She said they expect the downward trend to continue.

The Tourism Department is encouraging people to shift activities and experience “the great outdoors,” she said, and is hoping to see some rebound and recovery in the fall and winter tourism seasons.

Also on the program, Racine Mayor Cory Mason said the city is beginning a phased-in re-opening as its safer-at-home order expires Tuesday. He also said the city will enforce the guidelines to keep people safe.

“We will be working with law enforcement, and if we see from residents and customers that there are places that are being reckless and not following guidelines around social distancing, on capacity limits, we will enforce if need be the limitations that are there under the public health document to keep people safe,” Mason said.

Mason knocked the Wisconsin Supreme Court for striking down the statewide safer-at-home order, and Republican legislative leaders for not coming up with a statewide standard.

He said the Supreme Court “irresponsibly … lifted the order and left places like us to figure it out.”

“That’s been extremely difficult,” Mason said.

In another segment, WISN 12 News reporter Matt Smith asked presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden whether he needed Wisconsin to win the White House.

“I plan on winning Wisconsin. I think I can win Wisconsin. There are other paths to the White House. I’m confident I’ll win Pennsylvania and Michigan; we’re way ahead in Florida now. If that were to happen, then it’s all over, but I’m going to campaign very hard to win Wisconsin,” Biden said.

See more from the program: http://www.wisn.com/upfront

Print Friendly, PDF & Email