Reopening tourism

Klamath Falls, Ore. – Oregon tourism officials are working to balance putting out the welcome mat for visitors, while maintaining public health concerns.

Jim Chadderdon of Discover Klamath says tourism losses are hitting Klamath County hard, as local motel rooms are currently at 25% to 28% occupancy.  “Normally at this time of the year, in May, we’re seeing hotel / motel occupancy rates in the range of 65%.”

Rural counties could open as soon as this week, but it could be several more weeks before the Portland area opens up.

Chadderdon says that dovetails with what recent surveys are showing.  “They want to avoid the big cities – they want to avoid cruise lines.  They want to avoid airports, and airplanes.”

Chadderdon believes the emphasis on social distancing may benefit rural areas in the long run.  “Klamath county has the perfect product for that, with open trails, canoe, kayaks, fishing.”

It may be a while before you start seeing a return of Oregon tourism promotions.

“Travel Oregon is looking at resuming some outbound marketing towards the end of June.”  Notes Chadderdon.  “As early as June 18th.”

Chadderdon hopes steps taken now will pay dividends in the long run.  “We’re working with, and in close communication with all of our tourism stakeholders so that we can get things opened up in a safe way as soon as possible.”

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