Idaho tourism industry shows signs of hope

Idaho’s $3 billion tourism industry is showing fledgling signs of recovery, with outfitters among those who expect their businesses to expand this year after the poor economy caused guests to stay away the last two years.

Karen Ballard, tourism chief at the Idaho Department of Commerce, said revenues from the 2 percent bed tax on hotel, motel and private campgrounds was up statewide in May and June, which could indicate an improved summer tourist season.

That’s after the tax revenue had dropped for 19 straight months.

The Idaho Statesman reports that Silver Creek Outfitters in Ketchum expects a 40 percent increase in business, compared to 2009.

That’s after bookings at the fishing guiding business dropped by about two-thirds last summer.

Todd Kaplan, one of the guides, says he’s “seeing that really big uptick, and it’s really come on strong the last six weeks.”

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