Winners of the National Council of State Tourism Directors (NCSTD) 2023 Mercury Awards were announced last week at U.S. Travel Association’s annual Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO) conference in Savannah, Georgia. The Mercury Awards recognize excellence and creative accomplishment in state and territory destination marketing and promotion; and inspire, through showcasing outstanding work, the continued development of imaginative and exciting marketing and promotional programs. Travel Oregon was recognized in the Outstanding Print Collateral category as well as Outstanding Video, Film or Podcast Series.
The product of a partnership between Travel Oregon and a collective of representatives from Oregon’s nine federally recognized tribes, the Travel Guide to Oregon Indian Country was honored in the Outstanding Print Collateral category. Driven by the editorial vision of the Tribal Tourism Leadership Committee, the 52-page guide aims to promote tribal tourism assets, cultural resources and respectful appreciation of tribal lands. It offers resources and inspiration to help visitors understand and respect the history, cultures and land that Indigenous people have occupied since time immemorial while promoting attractions on and nearby tribal lands where tribes have invested in ways to welcome visitors.
“Earning these Mercury Awards is a testament to the exceptional collaboration between Travel Oregon’s staff and our incredible partners,” said Todd Davidson, CEO of Travel Oregon. “We are especially grateful to Oregon’s nine federally recognized Tribes, who proactively drove and participated in creation of the Travel Guide to Oregon Indian Country. Tribal tourism is a crucial driver of state and local economies and contributes greatly to tourism’s $13.9 million impact statewide. We can’t tell the story of Oregon without them.”
Hidden Trails of Oregon, which featured 10 Oregon cities and 10 guided experiences with documentary-style audio, was honored by NCTSD as Outstanding Video, Film or Podcast Series. Narrative voice-overs by Armchair Productions touch on themes important to our visitors such as land stewardship, safe outdoor adventure and Oregon’s rich cultural landscape. The quantifiable outcomes of this podcast were impactful—including 90,000+ downloads, 60,000+ hours of engagement—and brought Oregon to life for listeners all over the globe while inspiring travel to the state.
“To me, these awards honor the totality of effort of the entire Travel Oregon team over time,” continued Davidson. “A competitive grant may have funded the restoration of a trail now featured in the podcast and a Destination Ready workshop may have galvanized a community or inspired a new guiding business. These efforts, and so many others, fuel the creative campaigns inspiring travel to, and within, Oregon.”
Travel Oregon has been honored with 24 Mercury Awards since 1997. To see all awardees, visit ustravel.org.
About Travel Oregon
The Oregon Tourism Commission, dba Travel Oregon, is a semi-independent state agency whose mission is to inspire travel that uplifts Oregon communities. Collaborating with stakeholders to align as stewards of Oregon, we work to optimize economic opportunity, advance equity and respect the ecosystems, cultures and places that make Oregon… Oregon. Travel Oregon aims to improve Oregonians’ quality of life by strengthening the economic impacts of the state’s $13.9 billion tourism industry, which employs more than 100,000 Oregonians.