Visitors Invited to Take Free, Guided Walks around the City
SALEM, OREGON — Travel Salem is pleased to announce the launch of the Salem Greeters Program – the first Greeters Program to be adopted in the state of Oregon. In partnership with the Global Greeters Network, the Salem Greeters Program aims to foster a deeper connection between visitors and the local community by matching visitors with residents who will share their knowledge and insights about the Salem area.
Volunteer Greeters take individual tourists and small groups of six or less on free, informal walks – primarily around the city’s downtown core, which is home to a number of eclectic shops, cafés, art galleries and other cultural and historical gems. Tours can be customized to meet a visitor’s specific interests and typically last one to two hours.
“Greeters are not professional tour guides,” points out Lourdes Gomez, Travel Salem’s Destination Development Manager and coordinator of the Salem Greeters Program. Rather, they share personal anecdotes about living and working in Salem, along with interesting historical facts and ideas about what to see and do in the area.
Salem residents Ron Kelemen and Kathy Ellis-Kelemen have taken part in walking tours in other cities and now serve as volunteers with the Salem Greeters Program. “My husband and I look for these tours whenever we travel as it really makes a place come alive,” says Ellis-Kelemen.
While more than 90 cities worldwide currently participate in the Global Greeters Network – which began in 1992 in New York City – only three other cities in the United States currently participate. Salem is the fourth U.S. city to formally adopt the program and the first in the state of Oregon.
Tourists planning a trip to the Salem area are encouraged to sign up for a walking tour through the Salem Greeters Program. To schedule a tour, go to www.salemgreeters.com and fill out the online request form, or call the Travel Salem Visitors Center at (800) 874-7012. Visitors are asked to submit requests at least seven days in advance of their visit.