PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As vaccination rates increase, COVID-19 restrictions are lowering across the state just in time for the holiday weekend — and the tourism industry in Oregon is ready to rebound.
The tourism industry got a really late start last year after travel came to a halt at the beginning of the pandemic. Now, tour guides are ready to show off what Oregon’s southern coast has to offer.
South Coast Tour guides say the excitement of spotting marine life and getting to still feel safe kayaking in the wide-open spaces will help them bring business back to healthy levels. Not to mention, they are forecasting a great deal of travel this year.
Owner Dave Lacey says South Coast Tours is such a special place to visit, with options for every adventure.
“One really cool aspect of the south coast is we call this place the Wild Rivers Coast — and it’s because there’s more federally designated wild and scenic rivers here than anywhere else in the 48 states,” Lacey explained. “We got five wild and scenic rivers just on this little south coast of Oregon and then also the Smith River, which is basically the border of Oregon. So it’s a very, very special place to come visit.”
Another great adventure is the wildlife tour, where you’ll get to see amazing sightings of whales, birds and seals.
South Coast Tours Company has been able to stay fully staffed throughout the pandemic. However, Lacey says hotels and restaurants along the southern coast are having a harder time employing more workers to meet the tourism demand.
“One thing I’d love to mention to folks is that when they’re coming to the Oregon coast, just be kind to all the frontline staff — a lot of these folks are working extra hours because some of the businesses are having a hard time finding help,” Lacey said. “They’re working super, super hard to try and accommodate everybody.”
Although restaurant and hotel staffing in the area is thin, Lacey’s crew is ready for water adventures of all kinds — fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving and more. Find more information about South Coast Tours online here.