To view this message in a browser window, click here.

Recap: 6/19 COVID-19 Industry Partner Call

Dear Industry Partners:

Thanks to those who joined today’s call. Plan on 9 a.m. Friday, June 26, for the next call. Watch for an invitation with the details.

Here is the call summary: 

Rachel Helms, Account Manager, Expedia, shared details of a support package for hotels and industry workers. Hotels in the Fort Myers area can sign up through June 21 to receive support as they rebuild and rebound from the impact of COVID-19, as part of this $275 million recovery program from Expedia Group. 

The recovery program provides critical support across key priority areas identified by Expedia Group’s lodging partners as they look to recover from the pandemic. Those who opt into the program will receive: 

  • Local market data: Access to proprietary, dynamic market data allows lodging providers to better understand when demand will return to their market - insights from looking into trends on such areas as website traffic, stay dates, and demand source markets.
  • Marketing credits: To help increase their property’s online visibility to travellers searching across Expedia Group sites and begin driving demand when the time is right.
  • Financial relief: Participating properties will experience reduced compensation on all new bookings made within the program period on Expedia Group sites – regardless of the actual stay dates.
  • Support for furloughed and displaced workers: To help prepare workforces for recovery, complimentary online training courses and educational resources are available as part of the newly launched Expedia Group Academy.

For more information and to opt into the program, hoteliers should reach out to Helms at or their Expedia Group account manager.

Jeff Mielke, Lee County Sports Development Executive Director, said two events kicked off yesterday with about 20 youth Perfect Game baseball teams in Lee and Collier counties, and another today in Lee County will have about 50 teams. Next week, a 16-and-under baseball tournament begins. Some teams have canceled for events in July, due to the state’s 14-day quarantine. Girls fast pitch begins next week and it will be a very large tournament. Working with Lee County School Board to get more facilities but many are closed. July events are strong, including state women’s bowling tournament. Thanked hospitality community for getting tourism back up and running.

Christine Kennedy, General Manager, Delta Airlines, gave an outlook for Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW). She said Delta is working to make customers feel as secure as possible. No aircraft will be booked higher than 60% capacity until at least the end of September, middle seating is blocked on aircrafts, bags containing snacks and wipes are passed out along with masks when passengers board, and they are required to keep the masks on during the duration of the flight. Leisure markets are coming back, including Florida. Business travel has yet to recover. Flight schedules are being reviewed for August and beyond. No-show rates were at 40% for May, rates are down to single digits for June. RSW is doing better than the domestic average for capacity. Domestic average in June down 76%, RSW down 63%. In July, domestic average is down 61% and down 43% for RSW.

John Talmage, Lee County Economic Development (EDO) Director, said they are transitioning from a relaunch grant program to a rehire grant program. Almost $5 million of grant money has been dispersed to businesses ordered closed. The Business Rehire program opens July 6 to any business and some not for profits in Lee County that are not publicly traded, with a special focus on 501(c)(19) veterans organizations and 501(c)(3) organizations. The intention of the program is allow 4,000 people to be rehired. Businesses with fewer than 10 employees are eligible for a grant of $5,000 per employee to rehire up to two workers. Businesses with 11 to 250 employees are eligible for a grant of up to $20,000 to rehire up to four workers. Businesses have a final opportunity to apply for help through the LeeCARES Business Relaunch grant program from June 22 to June 26.

Tamara Pigott, VCB Executive Director, gave the STR Report for the week of June 7-13:

Week of June 7-13, 2020
Occupancy:  37.2%, down 41.3%
ADR:  $126.95, up 0.5%
RevPAR:  $47.20, down 41.0%

May 2020
Occupancy:  27.7%, down 57.6%
ADR:  $105.91, down 22.2%
RevPAR:  $29.35, down 67.0%

Stay in touch and let us know if we can help. Visit for updates. Thank you for all you do. Have a safe weekend.

Tamara Pigott
Executive Director

The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel

2201 Second Street, Suite 600 | Fort Myers, Fl 33901
Toll Free 800.237.6444 | Local 239.338.3500

Sanibel & Captiva Islands
Fort Myers Beach
Fort Myers
Bonita Springs
Cape Coral
Pine Island
Boca Grande & Outer Islands
North Fort Myers
Lehigh Acres

Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau
2201 Second Street, Suite 600, Fort Myers, FL 33901, USA
phone: (239) 338-3500 | toll free: (800) 237-6444

Facebook Facebook Instagram YouTube Pinterest

If you'd like, you can unsubscribe or update your subscription preferences.