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Coronavirus Causing Cancelations, Deep Cleanings In Tampa Bay Tourism Industry

massive waterfront resort
March and April are usually busy months for TradeWinds Island Resort in St. Pete Beach.

The coronavirus outbreak comes during one of the busiest tourist seasons in the Tampa Bay region. 

Travis Johnson is spokesman for TradeWinds Island Resorts in St. Pete Beach. He says while some vacationers have cancelled, others are making new plans. 

“We still have bookings coming in,” he said. “We have displaced folks that are now looking. Maybe they're on a cruise or an international travel. Typically in March and April, we are booked solid. So this is very unusual.”

Johnson says the resort is also taking steps to keep employees safe with deep cleanings and hand sanitizing stations throughout the property. 

Meanwhile, Tampa's airport will likely see fewer international travelers due to new federal restrictions on flights from European countries. Tampa International Airport offers non-stop service to London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Zurich. 

The London flights will continue as scheduled. But fliers from the other cities will arrive at one of 13 designated airports, and Tampa is not on that list. The flight restrictions are supposed to end in 30 days. 

The airport is also taking steps to minimize spread of the coronavirus.

“We have increased cleaning and sanitation efforts, particularly in all of our high-traffic, high-touch areas and have added signage reminding travelers how to avoid the spread of germs,” TPA officials said in a statement. “We are also placing additional hand sanitizers throughout the facilities to encourage use.”

Bradley George was a Morning Edition host and reporter at WUSF until March 2022.