Tourism

Gas and food prices may affect the tourist season | Local news

CORBIN – The weather is fine, school is over, the summer tourist season is in full swing, but with rising gas prices across the country, will Corbin see a decline in tourist numbers this season?

In a typical summer, Corbin sees most of their revenue coming from the summer months, but as gas and food prices continue to skyrocket, Corbin’s director of tourism Maggie Monhollen said it’s possible that won’t happen this summer.

“Human feelings and human actions are sometimes very difficult to assess, and that is what makes things so vague and frightening,” Monhollen said. “From an economic point of view, we are now at a point where the price of food, the price of gasoline, the price of clothing – it hits people in the gut.”

Corbin typically receives $80,000 in temporary tax and $700,000 in restaurant tax during the peak tourist season, which Monhollen says is between April and August, about half of Corbin’s annual income.

As prices continue to rise, it’s unclear how much revenue Corbin will generate this year as people start to look at travel a little differently this summer.

“We’re concerned, we’re a little apprehensive about how this season will play out,” Monhollen said, especially with many tourism-supporting industries still recovering from the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.

Monhollen said that fortunately for Corbyn, 2021 proved to be a year of huge comeback, but unfortunately for small businesses, the current price hike is likely to set them back again.

“Rising prices are taking a very hard toll on local businesses, especially in the restaurant business,” Monhollen said, as restaurant profits decline as food prices rise. “But restaurants can’t outsell themselves so people can’t go out.”

According to Monhollen, higher prices will cause a domino effect for the entire local economy.

Initially, experts in the travel industry predicted that people would still travel but find other ways to cut travel costs, such as eating less out of the house, choosing expensive restaurants to spend money at, or choosing budget hotels rather than hotels with a full range of services. hotel. Monhollen said it could just be Corbyn’s “saving grace”.

“The advantage of Corbin is that we are affordable,” Monhollen said, citing Corbin’s distance from major cities and the type of tourism activity in the area that would likely help draw tourists to the area. It can also encourage locals to stay and enjoy a “vacation” rather than an hour-long drive to another state or destination.

Overall, Monhollen said she definitely expects price increases to impact Corbyn’s revenue, but it’s hard to tell just how big that impact is right now…

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