Tourists return to Greensboro Science Center as center rebounds for COVID slump; ‘It is really looking hopeful for the future’

Sunny skies, warm weather, and an effective vaccine. It’s the perfect springboard for North Carolina’s tourism industry after a dramatic drop in spending.

The path to return to normal finally feels within reach for local tourist attractions.

“I think spring break, coupled with the beautiful weather that we’ve had, coupled with people being vaccinated and including the capacity restrictions being lifted, it really worked out well for us,” said Erica Brown, with the Greensboro Science Center.

People are slowly starting to make travel plans again. Dantonio Mauney’s family planned a trip from Roanoke, Virginia, to Greensboro. It was their first trip since the pandemic and the Greensboro Science Center made it on their list of places to visit.

“This is our first time here as well, so I’ve never been here, and it is pretty amazing we got to see a lot of cool animals that we’ve never seen before,” Mauney said.

The state’s tourism industry lost billions in the past year. Hotels and restaurants are just a few of the businesses hoping travel rebounds as vaccinations become more widely available.

“I did get two shots and we have now mass vaccinations coming so my wife needs to get it done and we make sure before we travel to Georgia that she gets vaccinated as well,” Sachin Vyas said.

Tourist attractions are already seeing a boost as more people venture out.

“With all the progress that we are having here, everything that we are building, all the new animals and exhibits coming in we are starting to see those visitors coming again from North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee, really all around the area,” Brown said.

The goal is to keep riding the wave of momentum and hopefully recover after a rough year.

“We’ve seen numbers on really beautiful weekends that are reaching those pre-pandemic numbers so it is really looking hopeful for the future and we are just going to keep on growing and keep on educating people and hopefully they will keep on coming out,” Brown said.

The Greensboro Science Center is rated one of the top 10 attractions in the state.