CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – The holidays are gearing up to be a little different this year. With the CDC now urging Americans against traveling for Thanksgiving, many families are facing the decision of cancelling holiday plans, or ignoring warnings to see their loved ones.
Some local attractions are finding that some traditions will have to be tweaked as they brace for the holiday season.
Many tourism hot spots pivoted to timed-entry ticket sales months ago, following the coronavirus lockdowns in March.
Barry White, President and CEO of Chattanooga Tourism company, says safety measures aimed at limiting capacity, will stay in place.
“Our attractions from day one when they started opening in June and July, had some very strict guidelines in place, they’re still adhering to those so they have limited capacities, they’ve incorporated things like timed-entries where you call and make a reservation to get in. And they require masks as well, even before Hamilton County required them,” says Barry White.
Chattanooga attractions like Rock City have said that they’re making several adjustments to ensure the safety of visitors during the holiday season.
One visitor to the Tennessee Aquarium gave his thoughts on travelling during a pandemic year, saying that it won’t deter him from seeing family members.
“Right now I think with this year especially, it’s more important to spend time with family and your loved ones than to be isolated at home. I think we’ve seen so many problems with mental health and not just physical health, you know, that comes from this pandemic. And if you take proper precautions and you take advantage of the testing, I don’t see any reason why you can’t spend time with your family this holiday,” says Ryan Berrywill, a traveler from Memphis.