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Indy sees decrease in tourism over holiday weekend

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The city of Indianapolis is not expecting the increase of tourists it normally sees on a holiday weekend.

Visit Indy says there’s one big event on the agenda and it’s a basketball tournament that brings in around 9,000 people. The city normally sees four times that number over Labor Day from one event alone, but it’s now canceled due to the coronavirus.

Day trips are a big draw to the city. Visit Indy says attractions like the Indianapolis Zoo, art museum, children’s museum and White River State Park won’t see the high volume of tourists like they do in the past.

A handful of restaurants have been forced to close and those that are open are trying to bring in customers by offering deals.

But Visit Indy says there is a glimmer of hope. It starts with the You Have Earned It campaign. It gives Hoosiers up to 50% off hotel deals in the city through the end of the month.

In general, there has been an in visitors since the start of the pandemic in March. The basketball tournament coming to the city this weekend is one example.

“These things have come together really quickly and so a lot of these pieces of business have together because they are unable to meet in other cities or other convention centers might not be able to welcome them right now,” Visit Indy Communications Manager Nate Swick said. “This was just finalized last week or early this week so we are turning it really quickly and working with the city to make sure that we can welcome this number of people.”

The Indianapolis hospitality industry normally employees 83,000 Hoosiers every year. About 40,000 people are still without a job.

Some Fall festivals are set to open over the next few weeks, but Visit Indy says it’s still a long road ahead.

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