More tourists are flocking to the coastline, mountains and vineyards of Oregon, U.S. contributing to record travel spending in 2005. Overall, more than $7.4 billion, a 7.4 percent increase over 2004, was spent on travel and tourism-related activities in the state according to the Results of Economic Impact, a study announced today by Travel Oregon.
“Tourism is a vital economic driver in Oregon, contributing significantly to the health of our communities through job creation and increased tax revenue,” said Governor Ted Kulongoski. “Visitors continue to discover and connect with the diverse natural treasures of our unique state. As evident by today’s news, our targeted investment in tourism marketing and the work of Travel Oregon is delivering the strong dividends we all want.”
Key highlights of the study revealed Oregon’s healthy tourism industry is:
Attracting More Air Passengers
—In 2005, 2.75 million domestic air passengers arrived in Oregon, compared to approximately 2.5 million in 2004, representing the third consecutive year of positive growth in this field.
—Travel industry employment increased by 1.9 percent between 2004 and 2005. More than 88,900 jobs with earnings of $1.8 billion are associated with the Oregon travel industry, making it the largest traded-sector employer in the state.
—Travel spending in Oregon generated an additional secondary impact of 40,000 jobs with earnings of $1.2 billion in 2005. Most of these jobs were in various professional and business services and occupations.
Contributing to Economic Health
—In 2005, direct travel spending generated $90 million in local taxes and $194 million in state taxes.
—Travelers staying overnight in hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts accounted for one-half of all visitor spending in Oregon last year.
—Twenty-three percent, the largest share of tourist spending, was on food and beverage services with a total expenditure of $1.5 billion for 2005.
“Our focus is to create the greatest return on investment for the lodging tax revenue we’re entrusted with,” said Todd Davidson, CEO of Travel Oregon. “It’s gratifying to already see the results of our efforts this past year to reach new markets, strengthen collaboration within the industry and reinforce the Oregon brand.”