By Kimberly Davis

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Officials in Philadelphia are also making plans on the road to recovery. There’s a new campaign to promote tourism in the city.

“As people are getting the vaccination, people want to get back to travel,” Visit Philadelphia CEO Jeff Guaracino said.

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It’s a push to get travelers to make a stop in Philadelphia.

Visit Philadelphia is launching a campaign to increase the city’s tourism.

“Right now, today there are more than 30,000 people in Philadelphia County alone, who a year ago were making a great living in the tourism/hospitality industry,” Guaracino said, “and still today are out of work or their business has been shuttered or reduced.”

The 11-week campaign starts on Saturday and will run through Memorial Day Weekend. The CEO of Visit Philadelphia says they’re focusing on people who are already traveling and vaccinated.

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“On the travel sites that many of us might be looking at, thinking about our spring or summer vacation, you are going to start to see ads to sleepover in Philadelphia,” Guaracino said.

Tourism has been down due to travel restrictions surrounding COVID-19. Increased foot traffic from visitors would give a much-needed boost to the hospitality industry, an industry that’s suffered through the pandemic.

“I feel like the sooner the better,” Clifton Austin of West Philadelphia said.

Philadelphia residents we spoke with say they welcome the tourism, but with caution.

“Precaution should definitely be taken as far as vaccinations, social distancing and all of that because, at the end of the day, we still have a pandemic going on,” Emma Schurmeier of Fairmount said. “I think we need to be protective of our citizens, but still get the economy moving again.”

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Hotel occupancy in Center City dropped nearly 60% in 2020. In 2019, the hospitality industry earned $704 million compared to $177 million last year.

Kimberly Davis