The Westchester Tourism Bureau has said it has been hit by a massive loss of business as of early March, with some employees complaining about the number of trips they had to cancel or postpone.
The bureau, which oversees hotels and cruise ships, has suffered a drop in bookings since March 1, when the state’s travel bureau started reporting on the numbers of people booked on its website, which is a popular source for travel data.
On March 12, when a New York Times investigation revealed that Westchester tourism bureau staff had been forced to cancel more than 200 of its business trips in the past three months, the bureau’s executive director, David Glynn, announced that he was leaving the agency.
“It’s not because we didn’t think it was a good idea.
It’s because of what’s happening with the business,” he said at a press conference.
Glynn said he was resigning in the wake of the investigation, which prompted the bureau to suspend its bookings for six months and cancel nearly 400 of its visits.
According to the West Chester Tourism Bureau, the agency has been losing $4.6 million in book and rental revenue since March 12.
In the first three months of this year, the number fell by $500,000, Glynn said.
Glyn said he had hoped to keep the agency afloat and continue its business, but the business was losing ground to other travel agencies.
“I don’t want to be a part of the problem, but it is a problem,” he told reporters.
Gillian McCarthy, who is also a Westchester travel bureau executive director and serves as the agency’s vice president of business development, said that the decline in book traffic had forced her to make hard decisions.
“We have to make difficult decisions about our business,” McCarthy said.
“It’s a big business.
It was not built for this kind of downturn.
I had to do a lot of things to stay in business.”
Westchester tourism officials have tried to address the loss of revenue through a variety of methods.
McCarthy said that over the past six months, she has worked with her employees to identify ways to attract more tourists, and to try to get people to book the more expensive cruises that are more popular.
McCarthy said that in addition to getting people to stay longer at the resort, the travel bureau was looking into making its website more reliable and responsive, and was developing its website as a service for other travel-related businesses.
McCarthy acknowledged that the bureau had struggled to attract new business to its website during the downturn, and said it had struggled with the fact that the online service had been taken offline.
“This is not just about the loss.
This is about the impact,” McCarthy told reporters, adding that the agency would have to rethink how it operates in the future.
The Westchester Bureau’s business has been hurt by an increase in the number and frequency of cancellations by visitors, McCarthy said, noting that the rise had forced the bureau into some difficult decisions, including canceling trips that had been booked weeks in advance and canceling the majority of the cruise trips that were already booked.
“When the business is losing, the people that are affected are the people who have to work, and they have to pay the bills,” McCarthy added.
“This is what we’re going through.
We have to look at how we are going to manage the business.”
McCarthys staff is expected to begin its next three months with a loss of about $4,000.