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Tourism, hospitality workers celebrate Visit Indiana Week with #InThisTogether videos

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The tourism and hospitality industry workers have been hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Indiana Office of Tourism Development is trying to find creative ways to support their workers until things get back to normal.

Visit Indiana Week is an extension National Travel & Tourism Week, where the goal is to let the public know about the impact of travel and tourism.

In an effort to continue the celebration, the office is sharing stories from our Hoosier tourism and hospitality workers. It’s a part of the #INthistogether campaign started by Gov. Eric Holcomb.

“We may not be able to really visit everything we love to see and do in Indiana right now, but we certainly can take the time to celebrate those workers who’ve really been impacted by the closures of our hotels, our restaurants and attractions,” Visit Indiana Director Misty Weisensteiner said.

Following the lead of Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, who kicked off the first message on May 3, tourism workers are sharing their stories on how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted their lives, but also highlighting what they miss about their jobs. Each day a new video will be released on the Visit Indiana website and social media pages.

Weisensteiner talked about the emotional experience of watching the hundreds of submissions from hospitality workers sharing their passion as they wait for the day where they can go back to showcasing Hoosier hospitality.

“I was watching some of the drafts as we were piecing them together, and I got teary-eyed and I got chills,” she said. “Seeing the passion and the love and the smiles that the tourism and hospitality industry showed in the videos even though they’re not drawing a paycheck right now. Their passion is still there.”

She said she hopes Hoosiers remember to support local when the COVID-19 crisis comes to an end and the statewide travel restrictions are lifted.

“Whenever you can get out, really patronize these businesses,” she said. “Show them the love.”