SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – On a normal day, the parking lot at Cross Country Tours would be completely empty and the buses would be packed full of students traveling on a field trip, or athletes headed to their next big game.
There would be employees driving the charter buses or cleaning them.
But for the past few days there’s been no kids and very few employees in sight and that’s because many people in the Upstate are at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We support every thing that is being done as far as prevention and slow down of the virus but we’re asking that we be remembered as an essential part of the economy,” Woodie said.
Cross Country Tours has been in business for over 30 years but general manager Doug Woodie said this journey for the past few weeks has been a tough one so far and it’s at the point where they almost feel forgotten.
“We were disappointed this time around during the CARES package that our industry was completely forgotten, we feel like we were looked over so we feel like the forgotten industry,” Woodie said.
This economic hit has caused Woodie to shorten his staff, he told us three weeks ago they had 50 employees, now they’re down to only four.
“The men and women that make up our workforce absolutely love what they do, we transport student groups. In some of the counties, some of those kids have never been out of their counties, never been on a vacation, and we take them to see the ocean for the first time or the nation’s capitol,” Woodie said.
Although they love their jobs, Woodie tells me that he doesn’t see how Cross Country Tours can move forward without help.
Since field trips have been canceled along with athletic events Woodie said even when the pandemic ends they have no idea when this nightmare will end for them.
They remain hopeful that the tour bus industry will eventually get the help they need so they can continue to show people the world.