BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Tourism leaders now predict the Space Coast could lose $1 billion in lost tourism revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Peter Cranis, Executive Director of the Space Coast Office of Tourism, pointed to numbers provided by researchers.
He said they show business is down 30 to 40 percent due to stay-at-home orders, businesses closing and tourists not coming.
Lost wages, lost tax revenue and lost spending, he said, could amount to $1 billion by the end of the year.
“When you talk numbers, you forget there are people behind those numbers,” he said. “It’s really sad. It really hurts.”
Cranis said his agency is currently in the process of developing a marketing plan to keep the Space Coast in people's minds as they start to plan possible excursions.
He said that begins in just a couple weeks with the Memorial Day weekend.
"We don’t want to see people shoulder to shoulder. You want to make sure that they’re doing all the right things because the last thing we want is to have a spike again and be back where we started," he said.
Some businesses are starting to see things turn around.
At Frankie's Upperdeck in Cocoa Beach, the staff told News 6 they didn't see a severe drop off in business.
"Business hasn’t really changed for us," said Erica Christian. "People are still very considerate for timing and everything. They’ve been very generous to us."
She said she knows other businesses have not been as fortunate.
Cranis said this agency is also looking at the launch of astronauts back into space on May 27 as a possibility for national and international exposure.
He said they are crunching numbers right now to see what impact it may have on the economy.