After months of telling people to stay away, some big cities need new ways to bring tourists back

“No one wants to be viewed as doing less than others to attract and protect travelers,” said one tourism expert.

Right as the busy summer travel season staggers across the start line, many states are already hitting the brakes on reopening plans due to record spikes in COVID-19 cases.

Yet in some parts of the country, beaches and bars are filling up, hotel occupancy rates are rising and attractions such as zoos, aquariums and museums are welcoming back visitors. Disney World Resort’s phased opening plans in Florida are on track for July 11, while Disneyland’s plans in California continue to be on hold.

The push to reopen is fueled in part by businesses starving for customers and cash flow — but also by a cooped-up public cautiously optimistic about making travel plans, and hoping for a slowdown in the spread of the coronavirus.