Dear Oregon Tourism Partners,
There are no words that can capture the devastation Oregon has experienced as wildfires ravage our state. The loss of lives, destruction of homes, businesses, belongings and natural environment that make up the fabric of our communities is heartbreaking. We all know someone for whom this loss is a reality – and that means we all have a role in the response and recovery.
Wildfire season has always posed challenges for certain communities and our tourism industry has response systems to alert travelers and provide guidance on how to protect public safety. Still, it goes without saying, that the lives lost, acres burned and residual smoke across Oregon is devastating.
For the past several months, we’ve been working with you on sharing best practices for public health with consumers to prevent the spread of COVID-19. With this latest public health and safety threat we have expanded our consumer travel alerts page to provide up-to-date information on the wildfires as well as resources on ways to help Oregonians in need.
As a friend of mine from across the country shared with me after watching news of the wildfires in Oregon, “Oregon is a special place and nothing can take that away despite how hard this awful year tries. I can’t wait to come back—as soon as possible. My heart is with you.”
This is the sentiment that must lead us all. Nothing can take Oregon away or the spirit of who we are as a people and a state. Across our industry we must unite to first help those with the immediate basic needs to feed, clothe and provide shelter for their families. And second, rebuild Oregon from the fires and from the pandemic, seeking new ways to partner, invest our resources and restore infrastructure and natural beauty that will forever make Oregon a sought-after destination for visitors and a special place to call home.
At Travel Oregon, this is our focus and we hope to work with all of you to rebuild Oregon and to do so in a way that honors the past, while ensuring we are smart, strategic and innovative in this next normal. Please join us in this transformational moment for Oregon and let’s show the world strength and resiliency of the Oregon spirit. This work we pledge to undertake together is as important now as it has ever been.
Please stay safe,
CEO, Travel Oregon