Portland, OR–(AP)–Portland Travel and Convention Bureau Executive Director Jennifer Toth said the bureau has seen an influx of new visitors and new travelers, but she said there are still a lot of people who still want to come here for the outdoors.
“Our customers have been really open about the great outdoors, whether it’s fishing or hiking, and we’re trying to keep that,” Toth told reporters at the bureau’s Portland headquarters.
Toth has been an official of the bureau since April 2017.
She is in charge of the agency’s economic development efforts, including its partnership with Oregon Parks and Recreation and its efforts to promote the state’s tourism.
Toths said there have been no significant increases in cancellations or delays as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and that the bureau had already seen a drop in the number of cancellations and delays during peak periods in recent months.
“The number of people canceling has not changed,” she said.
Totson said she has heard from many of the new visitors to the state.
“I can’t even count the number,” she joked.
“We’ve got so many people coming to our office.
We’re working on it right now, but we’re definitely not done.”
Alyssa Denton, a 24-year-old student at Portland State University who traveled from Oregon to work for the bureau, said she and her family were thrilled to be able to enjoy the outdoors for the first time.
“When you’re doing your internship and you can come here, you feel like you’re home,” she told the AP.
“You can just chill and hang out with friends and your friends can come to your house and your family can come, so it’s kind of an amazing feeling.”
Totson declined to share details about how many cancellations have been related to the coronas virus.
Toth said she believes the coronavets spread has slowed as a response to the pandemic.
“There have been a lot more people who have been feeling like this is not the right time to come to Oregon,” she explained.
“If you come here and you have to go back, it might be too late.”