With a new out-of-state advertising campaign, Travel Oregon wants to remind potential visitors of the state’s awe-inspiring vistas, abundant outdoor recreation, and cultural diversity. The new campaign is intended to be an emotional and cinematic reminder of the wonders of Oregon.
Tourism in Oregon
Oregon is a state located in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It shares its borders with Washington and Idaho along the Columbia River. Its southern boundary is marked by the 42° north parallel, which runs through California and Nevada. The state is rich with natural beauty and numerous attractions. In addition, Oregon is home to a number of renowned wineries.
In 2018, the state’s tourism industry was worth $12.3 billion and directly employed 115,400 Oregonians. Last year, Oregon hosted more than 29 million overnight visitors and generated $560 million in state and local taxes. Moreover, the tourism industry in Oregon continues to outpace the rest of the U.S. in visitation and spending, with a 4.2% increase over the prior year.
Growth of the industry
The state of Oregon’s travel and tourism industry generates more than $12.3 billion in revenue annually and directly employs about 115,400 Oregonians. Last year, more than 29 million visitors stayed overnight in Oregon hotels, and air arrivals from domestic and international destinations increased by 5.2%. This increase in tourism spending boosted employment and generated more than $560 million in state and local taxes. Tourism spending increased by 4.2% in 2018, making it the ninth straight year of strong growth.
The environment of Oregon also facilitated the growth of tourism. The state’s natural beauty and climate drew technology firms and outdoor recreation businesses, creating an excellent business climate. As a result, the travel and tourism industry in Oregon grew dramatically by the end of the 20th century.
Impact of new campaign on economy
In recent years, Oregon’s economy has outpaced the nation, with job growth above the national average. By the end of the biennium, however, job growth slowed down and the state’s unemployment rate remained at a low of 3.3%. This economic outlook shifted drastically in March 2020, when a novel coronavirus outbreak caused the state to declare a state of emergency.
In the state’s Economic Check-Up, the Alliance for Oregon Jobs has published its economic report every year since 2010. It compares the Portland-metro area with the Austin, Nashville, and Indianapolis regions. Compared to these regions, Oregon shines in terms of its educated workforce and median household income. However, the state still faces challenges, such as rising home prices and inequality. Additionally, the future of work has become a major topic of economic debate.
Working with diverse communities
The Portland-metro area is becoming increasingly diverse, which means that barriers to job access must be addressed. Diverse communities need access to good paying jobs and local employers need more options for recruiting diverse talent. A more diverse workforce can provide global competitive advantages for businesses. To address this challenge, Partners in Diversity and the Portland Business Alliance launched the Workforce Diversity Project, a three-year grant-funded effort.
Oregon’s diversity has spanned nearly two centuries, and the future will be no less diverse. Yet despite this diversity, there are still persistent disparities, such as those based on race, gender, national origin, ethnicity, and age. Those disparities, coupled with poverty, continue to hinder the realization of a sustainable Oregon.
Gene Landsmann Gemutlichkeit Award
The Gene Landsmann Gemutlichkeit Award is presented to an individual from the Ski Oregon membership who is an advocate for skiing and gemutlichkeit in Oregon. Gemutlichkeit is a German word meaning warmth or good cheer, and encompasses a feeling of coziness and high quality of life. The award is named for Gene Landsmann, an Austrian national group skier who lived in Mt. Ashland for many years and was an active member of the Oregon Ski Industries Association.
Among the many categories, this award recognizes a single individual who has made a lasting impact on the travel and tourism industry in Oregon. The award honors those who have made Oregon a better visitor destination by being innovative, prescient and dedicated to the profession. These individuals contribute to the overall popularity of Oregon’s journey and tourism industries.