Dear friends –
Oregon’s travel and tourism industry is a crucial component of the state’s economy. In 2019, the tourism industry generated $12.8 billion in visitor spending, employing more than 117,000 Oregonians. The impact of COVID-19 on travel was swift and severe but Oregonians, communities and the tourism industry showed incredible resilience. If living through a global pandemic taught us anything, it’s that, together, we can adapt and thrive in the face of great challenge. Seeing the many ways in which we continue to lift one another up following a global time of crisis fills me with optimism and hope for the future.
I’m excited to embark on Travel Oregon’s 10-Year Strategic Vision with you. At its core, it is both an industry and an agency vision. It charts a path forward to create the Oregon we envision—a welcoming destination where tourism drives economic prosperity, benefits the natural environment and celebrates rich, diverse cultures. We are committed to implementing this plan, and supporting our industry colleagues, through our core values of integrity, equity, community and destination stewardship.
Oregon’s travel and tourism industry did not become a $12.8 billion industry by accident. It resulted from those of us in the industry being collaborative, passionate and smart. And it proves how critical the tourism industry is to the strength of Oregon’s economy. Working collaboratively with partners and stakeholders, we will leverage and align messages and resources to grow the industry’s economic impact while ensuring tourism creates positive outcomes for people and places and safeguards against unintended impacts for Oregon’s most vulnerable communities. Together, we can improve economic prosperity for all while enhancing livability of communities and protecting vital eco-systems to ensure we have the resiliency and positive social reputations to attract visitors in the first place.
Tourism, at its best, improves the lives of both Oregonians and the guests we welcome. By nurturing destinations across the state, helping steward the natural environment and celebrating the diversity of Oregon’s communities and cultures, we will create a stronger, more equitable and future-ready economy. Together, we can ensure that Oregon is a welcoming destination where all visitors feel safe, respected and inspired as they travel throughout our beautiful state.
Thank you for your partnership in this important work.