Tourism in Superior Rising Above the Pandemic

The pandemic hit the tourism industry hard throughout the region and Superior is not exempt. However, the industry itself is now rising above and is recovering better than expected.

SUPERIOR, Wis. – The pandemic hit the tourism industry hard throughout the region and Superior is not exempt. However, the industry itself is now rising above and is recovering better than expected.

With Superior and Duluth being neighboring cities, tourism that impacts one part of the region will also hit the other.

“What’s going to happen?” said Taylor Pedersen, the president and CEO of the Superior Chamber and Travel Superior.  “I can’t guarantee. But obviously, that impacts tourism and even events in Duluth, they impact tourism in Superior and vice versa.”

According to the Superior Douglas County Area Chamber of Commerce, they had expected a 50 to 70% reduction in tourism for the year. However, it ended up being down just 23%.

The chamber believes the figures weren’t as bad as expected because Northlanders became more comfortable heading out to different businesses that were taking extra precautions.

They say that in terms of what events to host for this upcoming year, it really depends on what’s safe to do and what’s safe to host.

Last year, some of the bigger events in Superior had to be canceled due to COVID, like the Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival and the Billings Park Days, which of course impacted tourism numbers. The chamber also faced some hard times with furloughs but everyone has been able to come back since.

“We plan for the worst,” said Pedersen. “We had to make some very tough decisions. I mean, all of our staff were furloughed at some point in time. That’s never an easy decision to make but a lot of our business community saw those same decisions needing to be made as well.”

The Superior Douglas County Area Chamber of Commerce is launching a new ad campaign called “Remember Fun,” encouraging people to do things like take a walk in the woods or play in the water.

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