Officials unconcerned with coronavirus’ effect on Memphis tourism

Officials unconcerned with coronavirus’ effect on Memphis tourism

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The people who work to make sure millions of visitors have a good time are staying on top of the coronavirus as the Bluff City prepares for some of its biggest events of the year.

Millions of U.S. and international travelers visit the Bluff City every year.

Known for its rich history, soulful cuisine and unique events -- Memphis has become a traveler’s destination.

Some of the major events bringing in visitors from all over the world include Beale Street Music Festival and the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest.

"We're ready to welcome the thousands of people to Tom Lee Park and all of our events that we have without a panic and without any true cause for concern yet,” said Robert Griffin, Memphis in May Vice President of Marketing.

Memphis in May officials say they're keeping a close eye on the latest coronavirus developments -- now formally known as COVID-19.

But, at this point, officials are not concerned the virus will impact upcoming events.

"In this case we're keeping a track on what the CDC is saying and what local health department officials are saying,” said Griffin.

Health officials have reported 59 cases of coronavirus in the United States so far -- with tens of thousands of reports in other parts of the world and nearly 3,000 deaths.

"Travel from the United States to China has been curtailed dramatically over the last few weeks,” said Kevin Kane, Memphis Tourism President.

Memphis Tourism officials say travel and hospitality are usually some of the first industries to feel the impact of something like this.

Our local tourism leaders are in constant communication with the US Travel Association and local hotels -- even taking extra steps for cleanliness at an upcoming event.

“We got extra hand sanitizers throughout the building and just taking those extra precautions to make sure that we’re being ahead of this thing,” said Kane.

One of the busiest international tourist attractions here in the Mid-South is Graceland.

We reached out today to ask if they’re taking any precautions.

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