In 2014, the Oregon Tourism Commission, dba Travel Oregon, began administering the Oregon Wine Country License Plates Tourism Promotion Distribution program. Oregon statute includes the following language:
ORS 805.274 mandates that, “After payment of the cost of production of the wine country registration plates including administrative expenses relating to marketing the wine country registration plates issued under ORS 805.266, the Oregon Tourism Commission shall distribute the moneys received from the Department of Transportation pursuant to ORS 805.272 as follows:
(a) One half of the moneys shall be distributed as matching grants. The commission shall develop a matching grant program and shall award grants to tourism promotion agencies for tourism promotion of wine and culinary tourism.”
And the statute further directs that,
“(b) One half of the moneys shall be distributed to tourism promotion agencies for the purpose of wine and culinary tourism promotion. The commission shall distribute the moneys in proportion to the amount of acreage in each region used for wine grape production. The commission shall designate a tourism promotion agency for each region.”
On December 9, 2014 the Oregon Tourism Commission (OTC) adopted administrative procedural rules and directed staff to move forward with process of further rules promulgation to support these programs.
The Oregon Tourism Commission directed agency staff to draft Wine Country License Plate (WCLP) Rule language, provide notice as required by law and provide vehicles for public input. The Oregon Tourism Commission adopted a package of WCLP rules on February 10, 2015.
Notice was further provided and a public hearing held on June 14, 2016 after which the OTC took action on additional administrative rules which require tourism promotion agencies to collaborate with the Oregon Wine Board and relevant regional winery associations in keeping with changes to ORS 805.274 as amended by Senate Bill 1543, enacted by the Oregon Legislature in 2016. These guidelines were amended to reflect OTC direction and in adherence with ORS 805.274 and OAR 976-002-020.
Goals of the Oregon Wine Country License Plates Tourism Promotion Guidelines
Comply with the requirements of all applicable Oregon Revised Statutes and Administrative Rules, including definitions as cited in ORS 320.300(7) “Tourism promotion” means any of the following activities:
(a) Advertising, publicizing or distributing information for the purpose of attracting and welcoming tourists;
(b) Conducting strategic planning and research necessary to stimulate future tourism development;
(c) Operating tourism promotion agencies; and
(d) Marketing special events and festivals designed to attract tourists.
- Optimize the benefits of regional tourism efforts to Oregon’s economy.
- Encourage regional tourism promotion and collaboration.
- Provide simple, straightforward WCP promotion distribution procedures.
- Encourage leveraging of existing statewide and regional programs where beneficial.
- Minimize WCP-related administrative burden on OTC and the regional designee.
Definition of Regions:
- Region 1, also known as the Mid-Willamette Valley region: Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties.
- Region 2: Lane, Linn, Benton, and Clackamas counties.
- Region 3: Curry, Douglas, Josephine, Jackson, Klamath and Lake counties.
- Region 4: Wasco, Sherman, Gilliam, Morrow, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wheeler, Grant, Harney, Baker and Malheur counties.
- Region 5: Columbia, Washington and Multnomah
- Region 6: Hood River
- Region 7: Jefferson, Deschutes and Crook
- Region 8: Lincoln, Tillamook, Clatsop and Coos
Beginning in 2022, Regions will be notified of available funding in January and will be required to submit a proposal online for usage of funds by April 15. 2021 program funding remains available for some Regions.
A proposal for usage of 2021 funds must be submitted by Dec. 1, 2021. If a decision is made to roll dollars over to the next year to fund larger projects, Travel Oregon requires this request be made in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. This email must include a reason why the funds will not be used in this year.
Download the Oregon Wine Country License Plates Tourism Promotion Guidelines. Industry stakeholders are encouraged to connect with the designated Tourism Promotion Agency contact for your region at any time throughout the year.