Should there be a limited number of tourists this summer?


Courtesy of Renee Fohner

A view of Ocean City, MD from the pier.

As summer and warm weather are beginning to approach, many people are getting excited to visit their favorite beaches. It may seem as though COVID-19 may never go away, but the vaccine could be slowly bringing the world back to some form of normalcy.

In order to keep the COVID-19 levels low, some people believe there should still be restrictions and a limit on the amount of people in an area at one time. Ocean City, Md., a hotspot for summer vacationers, battled COVID-19 this previous summer, making companies and other establishments want nothing more than for the normal tourist numbers to come back. These factors lead people to question if there should be a limited amount of people able to come down this summer.

Bruce Krasner is the owner of several T-Shirt Factory stores throughout Ocean City, as well as a partner in Atlantic Shoals, a surf shop located in Fenwick Island, De. Krasner states, “I do not believe there should be a limit on tourists. COVID-19 has run its course and we should be back to normal this summer. It should be better than last summer and we still had a lot of people come visit. I did not even think they should have limited people last year, let alone this year.”

Most business owners and their companies suffered this previous year, primarily those that thrive off of the tourism industry. A lack of tourists and employees, especially young adults from foreign counties, added more difficulty to the struggles companies were faced with.

Susan Jones, the Ocean City Hotel Motel Restaurant Association, HMRA, Executive Director wrote about this matter in her letter. “In our resort community of Ocean City, we typically have 12,000 seasonal positions to fill. By sheer numbers, our populations does not offer us the opportunity to full these positions, and now with Americans enjoying their unemployment checks, we are in a crisis to fill seasonal jobs,” stated Jones. Without these employees, many local stores are unable to open.

While Ocean City thrives off the tourism industry, there are people who believe there should be a smaller amount of tourists each summer. Maddie Gourley, a junior at Virginia Wesleyan, shares this opinion. “I stayed in West Ocean City last summer, meaning my commute to work everyday was going into town. When going to work some days throughout the summer, the traffic was awful. There were some days in the summer when I knew I had to leave 45 minutes before my shift started to be there on time due to the insane amounts of traffic and absolutely no parking. On the topic of if the amount of tourism should be limited this summer, I believe they should regulate the numbers. I know companies make their living off these tourists, but sometimes there are just too many,” stated Gourley. While traffic is inevitable, it does not decrease the amount of frustration that comes with it.

To those who believe there should be a lesser count of tourists this summer, they are unfortunately part of the minority in this argument. Companies cannot afford a summer like last if they wish to stay in business. Based off this previous weekend and the expectations for Memorial Day Weekend, Ocean City can expect a busy summer.