Some Oregon communities are already thriving visitor destinations. This status can foster tremendous pride and boost the local economy, but high use can also lead to unintended negative impacts.
Travel Oregon offers the Destination Management Studio for local areas or regions managing high visitation and experiencing challenges with congestion, transportation, affordable housing and/or land management. We work with communities to identify the right balance between the economic benefits of tourism and the impact on local services, amenities, quality of life, and natural and cultural resources. This work enhances community livability, expectations and satisfaction, and helps communities build a stronger region by creating a shared vision and long-term strategy to enhance and manage tourism.
Participating communities receive planning assistance, training, coaching and resources to create a shared vision to manage tourism demand even as they continue building tourism as a vital component of their economy.
Graduating communities leave the program with a strong team and a solid plan to advance their goals—plus ongoing technical assistance and the opportunity to apply for a grant of up to $20,000 from Travel Oregon’s Matching Grant Program to support the implementation of priority projects.
Interested communities must be prepared to make a significant and long-term commitment to leadership and participation.
As part of this studio process, Travel Oregon works with local leaders to establish a robust leadership team for the region to address and guide destination management. After a four-month community-based planning process facilitated by Travel Oregon, community leaders commit to long-term sustainable tourism management by implementing strategies through action teams, guided by a local leadership team.
Once the program begins, Travel Oregon engages the leadership team in the Destination Development Studio for approximately two years, working through three phases: Planning & Outreach (~6 months), Community-Based Workshops (4-5 months) and Project Implementation (12-18 months). Through this work, the community gains increased leadership capacity, a shared community vision, new relationships or deeper connections with local and state leaders, and new strategic direction and momentum through action teams focused on priorities.
We ask communities to commit to the following:
- Participate in an intensive program planning phase with a steering committee to build a leadership collaborative
- Recruit participants who represent a variety of community members—from business owners to elected officials to tourism operators—to help build the strategy
- Assemble action teams to implement priority strategies identified during the program
- Collaborate—long term—with community members, stakeholders and Travel Oregon to make the local vision a reality
- Provide meeting venues and workshop space and assist with logistics
- Participate in program evaluation
Because communities make this long-term commitment of time, thinking and perspectives, we are able to keep the monetary cost of participation low. Travel Oregon typically charges a $5-$10 per person fee for each workshop; additional fees may apply if the community adds extra modules or requests more intensive support. Contact Development@TravelOregon.com to discuss specific fees in more detail.
Travel Oregon accepts applications to Oregon Tourism Studio programs on a rolling basis. The Destination Management Studio is currently offered once every two years, and the wait time can run 18-24 months. Learn more about our application process.