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Tourism to Arizona Havasupai waterfalls suspended indefinitely

Posted at 1:56 PM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-09 19:17:29-04

PHOENIX — Tourism to the Havasupai waterfalls, arguably one of the most picturesque and popular tourist destinations in Arizona, has been suspended indefinitely because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Havasupai Tribe said Tuesday.

The Tribe initially suspended tourism on March 16 for 30 days and then extended that suspension for another month through May 15. On Tuesday, the suspension was extended "until further notice."

In a statement released through a spokesperson, Chairwoman Eva Kissoon said, "In the best interests of the health and welfare of the Havasupai people, the Council finds it necessary to extend its suspension of all tourism visits to the Havasupai Reservation until further notice. We continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 in Arizona and have made decisions to further protect our Havasupai residents."

The Tribe does not offer refunds. Those who purchased permits and had their trips canceled will be allowed to reschedule their trip for another time in 2021, a news release said. It is not clear yet how much that will affect the number of permits available next year, which are highly sought and typically sell out.

Because of the pandemic, the Tribe has also implemented stay-at-home orders for its residents, restricted travel in and out of the reservation, and is following CDC recommendations.