As work begins on developing a new strategic plan that is responsive to Oregon’s ever-dynamic tourism economy, the Oregon Tourism Commission, doing business as Travel Oregon, and the state’s seven official regional destination management organizations are launching a survey to seek input from communities, local businesses and individuals that drive the state’s tourism economy.
Respondents will be asked what they are currently experiencing as a result of wildfires, the COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest, and what’s needed most to rebuild and support a strong, resilient and racially just Oregon tourism economy.
Tourism-related spending and activity has grown steadily over the last decade. Through local and state transient lodging taxes and associated spending from travelers for business or leisure at small retailers, lodging establishments, tour guides and outfitters, restaurants or other businesses, every region of the state has experienced increased revenues from tourism-related spending, which supports thousands of jobs (117,500 in 2019), important local services and other investments.
The COVID-19 pandemic and necessary restrictions on travel have had devastating impacts on Oregon’s tourism economy and the communities that have grown to rely on tourism and travel to support local jobs and businesses. Additionally, the momentum of the movement against racial injustice, and the recent wildfires have exposed more vulnerabilities (and the need for further improvements) in Oregon’s tourism economy.
Information collected through the survey will help set strategic direction for Travel Oregon and its regional partners. It will also be used to make funding and programmatic decisions in marketing, grants, tourism-related infrastructure, visitor management, and more.
The survey, available in both Spanish and English, can be found online until Oct. 30 at industry.traveloregon.com/stakeholdersurvey2020.