Growing fears over coronavirus causing concern for South Florida’s tourism industry

Hotels, other hospitality industries attempting to protect bottom lines

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – The growing fears and concerns over coronavirus could wreak havoc on South Florida's number one economic driver, which is tourism.

Hotels and other hospitality industries are taking action to try and protect their bottom lines.

South Florida's tourism industry is already feeling coronavirus fallout.

"Millions of dollars," said Wendy Kallergis with Miami & Beaches Hotel Association. "I don't have a percentage yet but it's very serious."

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Miami Beach was already dealing with the impact when the Florida Health Department issued an advisory that any Floridian that traveled internationally to self-isolate for 14 days upon return, later walking it back to only include specific countries: China, Italy, Iran and South Korea.

Still, that was only intended for Florida residents. What about the countless international travelers that land in South Florida as tourists?

"You shouldn't have to interpret public health direction," said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber. "It shouldn't be a Rorschach test. It shouldn't be a smoke signal. We need some metrics that we can rely on."

Gelber sent a letter to state health officials, demanding specifics; metrics, to measure and make decisions about whether to cancel, close, quarantine, or not.

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