Tourism is an economic driver for the area, bringing income to local businesses and supporting economic development. People who travel here do so for the outdoor space and beauty, especially this year.
Over the summer, there has been a steady stream of people taking advantage of what the area has to offer. Julie Henry, executive director of the Wellsboro Chamber of Commerce, said that most of the people coming to the area travel from within a three-hour radius. People may not want to travel long distances, but they are comfortable traveling a short distance to get away from home and enjoy time out.
“We are the perfect place to come for outdoor activities and maintain social distance because we naturally have a lot of space. We are blessed with wide open spaces,” Henry said.
She added that she has not had any issue with negative reactions to wearing a mask. People who have visited the area have been pleasant and cooperative about wearing their masks.
Campgrounds have been filled with people. A spokesperson from the Canyon Country Campground said the campground has been booked since May 1 and continues to have bookings until it closes on Oct. 31.
Tesha Merwine, an owner of the Pine Creek Inn, said that the inn has hosted people from across the state and out of state.
“People are crammed up lately and are ready to go out and make new memories,” said Merwine. “Our county offers the peace and solitude everybody wants.”
The Pine Creek Inn saw an increase of business in the beginning of summer, but has stayed steady with an average number of visits throughout the summer.
Henry predicts that tourism will remain steady in the fall season. Merwine said the outlook cannot be predicted because it can all change so quickly, but “every business genuinely cares for people and their well-being and want to make people happy.”
Merwine hopes that people go out and remember not to jump to conclusions. She would like people to keep in mind of the many possible reasons why people do something.
“Pull together and be kind to one another and we can pull through this,” Merwine said.