Starting or Expanding
An Adventure Travel, Tour Operator, Guide, or Outfitter Business in Oregon
Demand for adventure travel, outdoor recreation and nature-based experiences has steadily been on the rise, particularly in regions with abundant natural assets. Outdoor Recreation and Adventure Travel is an economic powerhouse, accounting for $887 billion in annual consumer spend and 7.6 million American jobs*. Oregon is already a leading destination for outdoor recreation and adventure travel, in 2011 yielding $12.8 billion in consumer spending and $4 billion in total wages and salaries**.
As participation continues to rise, new entrepreneurs are entering the space, and many existing businesses are looking to expand. Due to the diverse and varied locations that outdoor and adventure travel businesses operate in, as well as the inherent risk of some adventure activities, businesses often have complex regulatory and operational requirements. This portal is designed to give new entrepreneurs and current businesses one place to find requirements for starting and operating an outdoor travel business in Oregon. Resources are targeted for the following types of businesses:
- Tour Operators: A travel company that packages trips or experiences for resale
- Outfitters and Guides: An outfitter is a company that provides gear for rent, along with guides, transportation, and support for travelers interested in accessing outdoor locations. A guide serves as an ambassador for a place or region who interfaces directly with travelers; guides can be independently employed or hired by a company. All outfitters and guides operating in the State of Oregon need to be registered with the Oregon State Marine Board either as the company owner/primary contact or as an employee.
CHECKLIST FOR STARTING OR EXPANDING A BUSINESS IN OREGON
- Are you registered with the Oregon Secretary of State?
- If not, you can register online here. You can look to see if your business name is available and register your business name online here.
- Additionally, businesses in Oregon can choose to register as a Benefit Corporation (B Corporation). Registering as a B Corporation legally requires your organization or business to use environmental and social impacts as a key decider, along with profit. This status can attract ethically conscious consumers but adds additional burden.
- Are you aware of the operational licenses, permits, and registrations you will need for the State of Oregon?
- If not, you can review the Oregon license directory online here.
*Source: The Outdoor Recreation Economy (Outdoor Industry Association, 2017 )
**Source: Southwick Associates. (2012). The Outdoor Recreation Economy. The Outdoor Industry Association.