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Grand Rapids encourages staycations to help local hotels

Korn says a good Valentine's Day weekend turnout in Grand Rapids showed that people are willing to stay in hotels once again.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — If you have the travel bug but are unsure about it during the pandemic, a staycation could be the answer. And Experience Grand Rapids hopes it will help local hotels as well.

"We're really hopeful that we'll be able to get our local community members staying overnight and also getting people coming from out of town," says Janet Korn, Senior Vice President for Experience Grand Rapids.

The travel industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, but that could soon change. According to travel research group Longwoods International, 80% of American travelers plan to vacation in the next six months. That's the highest total since March of last year. Alternatively, only 40% say COVID will impact their decision to travel.

Korn says a good Valentine's Day weekend turnout in Grand Rapids showed that people are willing to stay in hotels once again.

"We know that if people have enough of a reason to get out, they will do an overnight stay," she says. "That was a good weekend, but we need a lot more good weekends."

To help, Experience Grand Rapids is partnering with ten local hotels to give a 25% discount off the second night of your stay throughout March and April. Korn says in talking with hotel owners, increased business is much needed after a year of mass layoffs in the industry.

"Our local hotels are staffed by the people who live in our community," says Korn. "And the people who are holding onto their jobs would really love to bring back some of their team members."

She hopes the incentive to staycation will keep local businesses thriving.

"To really help restore some of those lives in the hospitality industry," says Korn.

A full list of participating hotels can be found here.

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