The Wild Rivers Coast Tourism Studio focused on the rugged coastal communities of Bandon, Brookings, Gold Beach, Langlois and Port Orford on Oregon’s South Coast.
The Wild Rivers Coast Tourism Studio was developed in response to the destination’s desire to identify sustainable new economies and diversify local employment opportunities beyond its more traditional fishing and timber industries.
Wild Rivers Coast Tourism Studio highlights:
129 local tourism stakeholders and residents participated in six workshops between October 2013 and January 2014. Workshop topics included Community Visioning, Culinary and Agritourism Development, Bicycle Tourism Development, Nature-based Outdoor Recreation Development and Rural Tourism Marketing and Action Planning. Workshop notes, presentations, outreach materials and other resources are available on the Wild Rivers Coast Tourism Studio Resources page.
Travel Oregon Wine Country Grants funded the Oregon Coast Visitors Association to develop a passport to the Wild River Coast Food Trail. This project expands the scope and geographic range of the initial Food Trail piece to include businesses that grow, produce, harvest and serve local foods on the Southern Oregon Coast.
The Wild Rivers Coast Tourism Studio community received a $20,000 Tourism Studio Matching Grant from Travel Oregon to implement projects related to outdoor recreation, culinary and agritourism and regional collaboration in 2014.
For more information about the Wild Rivers Coast Rural Tourism Studio, contact Julie Miller, Oregon South Coast Regional Tourism Network.
“I grew up here, and was used to seeing things not work. This is the first thing I’ve been involved in with so many different groups and personalities…and you know what? It’s working.”
— Jodi Fritts, Gold Beach City Manager
Results of Phase One Action Team Implementation
February 2014 – October 2016
The Wild Rivers Coast Tourism Studio resulted in the creation of new visitor experiences, increased capacity for tourism, significant regional collaboration and desire for participation from other communities.
Attendees of the Wild Rivers Coast Tourism Studio identified outdoor recreation as a priority impact area for the destination. Initial project work began with the identification of local assets to include on a regional trails map and quickly expanded into the development of new signature trails.
The establishment of the Wild Rivers Coast Mountain Biking Association. The organization received nearly $400,000 in grant funding to develop 30 miles of mountain biking trails in the Coos County Forest and Brookings Azalea Park, and to rebuild the historic Lower Rogue River Trail.
The production of digital and print versions of a regional trails map to inspire and connect visitors to the mountain biking trails and adjacent communities.
A case study on the Wild Rivers Coast Tourism Studio community’s efforts to advance outdoor recreation was developed by Write to Know Consulting in October 2016.
Culinary & Agritourism
Attendees of the Wild Rivers Coast Tourism Studio identified Culinary & Agritourism as a priority impact area for the destination. Initial project work began with a desire to connect local food producers, residents and visitors and quickly grew from there.
Key project highlights include:
The launch of the community-created 27-mile Wild Rivers Coast Farm Trail in 2014, featuring farm stands, farmers markets, U-pick and specialty foods sellers along Highway 101 — the first of several agritourism projects planned for the region. An accompanying brochure was created to help promote the farm trail.
Participating businesses have reported an increase in visitation and direct sales to residents and visitors as well as new connections among producers.
A case study on the Wild Rivers Coast Tourism Studio community’s efforts to advance culinary and agritourism was developed by Write to Know Consulting in October 2016.
“I am impressed by the number of highly committed, tenacious volunteers who came out of the RTS initiative.”
—Marcus Hinz, Oregon Coast Visitors Association Executive Director
Attendees of the Wild Rivers Coast Rural Tourism Studio identified the need for stronger regional collaboration as a priority impact area for the destination. Initial project work focused on creating stronger alignment across local tourism stakeholders and increasing human and financial resources to advance tourism work.
Key project highlights include:
The creation of a 15-year tourism vision to stimulate collective tourism on Oregon’s South Coast that connects the seemingly independent and potentially competitive communities between Brookings and Bandon.
Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, one of the destination’s largest private business, signed an agreement with Coos County in 2016 to collect a 6 percent lodging tax from its guests to support tourism and public safety initiatives. These funds have led to the creation of a new destination marketing organization, Travel Southern Oregon Coast.
Through a series of Oregon Tourism Studios and collaborative projects from 2013-2017, this sub-region also developed the Oregon South Coast Regional Tourism Network (OSCRTN) that regionally collaborates to enhance economic development through sustainable tourism. As a rural area, they are interested in sharing the raw beauty of their region in a way that is respectful to the environment and those who call it home. The network is intentional about leveraging relationships, opportunities and dollars.
A case study on the Wild Rivers Coast Tourism Studio’s community’s efforts to create stronger regional collaboration was developed by Write to Know Consulting in October 2016.
Workshops that help rural communities develop and offer high-value, authentic experiences to travelers—in a sustainable, manageable way.
Travel Oregon offers Rural Tourism Studios to help communities build their appeal as visitor destinations with on-the-ground guidance, training and support tailored to each destination’s unique offerings.