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Tourism industry in Bristol County stands to take $256 million hit

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By Kiernan Dunlop, SouthCoast Today

NEW BEDFORD — The SouthCoast’s beaches, location, and history are just a few of the reasons it rakes in hundreds of millions of dollars from tourism each year, but the travel-dependent industry has taken a beating during the time of stay-at-home advisories and many in the industry aren’t yet sure what the path forward will look like.

Before COVID-19 made its appearance at the end of 2019 and ripped apart everyone’s travel plans, the SouthCoast was expected to have a better than average year for tourism.

“The SouthCoast fully expected that we were going to get quite a bit of overflow from Plymouth 400 and we market ourselves as a hub and spoke anyway,” Rick Kidder, president and CEO of One SouthCoast Chamber said. “As a wonderful place to stay… and easily go to Plymouth, easily go to Martha’s Vineyard, the Cape.”

This year nearby Plymouth was supposed to hold a multitude of events to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims arrival on the Mayflower.

Michele Pecoraro, executive director of Plymouth 400 Inc, told the Boston Globe an opening ceremony originally set for April was going to include guests from all over the world, but now they’re planning on doing a smaller scale event in November.

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