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Travel Oregon celebrates National Travel & Tourism Week, reports new highs in most categories

Travel Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- National Travel and Tourism Week shines a spotlight on the essential role that travel plays in driving economic growth and innovation, cultivating vibrant communities, creating quality job opportunities, stimulating business activity and elevating the quality of life for everyday Americans. 

The Oregon Tourism Commission, dba Travel Oregon, announced this week that the Oregon travel economy reached new highs across most categories in 2022, powering local communities and connections across the state.

Travel serves as a catalyst for a productive Oregon economy, driving $13.9 billion in direct spending in 2022, while supporting the success of other industries in the state. A recent economic impact report released by Travel Oregon highlights that the state's tourism industry saw continued demand for overnight accommodations, which led to large gains in visitor spending. This increased spending, coupled with inflation and a tight labor market, contributed to an increase in employee earnings as well, with both having a cumulative effect on increased tax revenue that benefits local communities. 

Overall, the Oregon tourism industry experienced an increase in direct travel spending by 26.5% year-over-year, from $10.9 billion to $13.9 billion. In addition, approximately 16,450 travel jobs were created in Oregon in 2022; overall, the industry is comprised of 117,360 direct jobs, growing by 16.3% year-over-year.

The tax revenue analysis found that taxes from travel activity increased by 24.1%, or $181 million, compared to 2021. Taxes collected by local governments rose by 21.2%, or $45 million, while state taxes increased by the same percentage, or $66 million. Travel earnings — the amount of money earned by employees— also increased by 23.9%, for a total of $821 million, during 2022.

“Tourism is critical to the strength of Oregon’s economy and essential to the growth of other industries across the state,” said Todd Davidson, CEO of Travel Oregon. “Together, Travel Oregon and the state’s seven regions are dedicated to driving positive economic impacts for the people and communities that call Oregon home while nurturing destinations throughout the state, stewarding the natural environment, and celebrating the diversity of Oregon’s communities and cultures. Our collective efforts are creating a stronger, more equitable, and future-ready Oregon economy where all visitors feel safe, respected and inspired as they travel throughout our beautiful state.”

Analyzing the in-state vs. out-of-state visitor impact revealed that U.S. residents of states other than Oregon accounted for approximately 60% of visitor spending, while Oregonians accounted for 36% of visitor spending in 2022. International visitors accounted for 5% of travel spending in the state, which is lower than the 10% we’ve seen historically. International travel is expected to continue to recover as pandemic restrictions ease, fully rebounding by 2025.

Travel is an economic powerhouse for Oregon and drives opportunity that uplifts communities year-round in every region of the state. Oregon’s diverse destinations offer something for every visitor in every season—from traditional tourism experiences such as outdoor recreation, culinary tourism and cultural sightseeing to new travel trends such as dark sky tourism, EV (electric vehicle) road trips, wellness experiences and agritourism. Collaborating with stakeholders and partners to align as stewards, Travel Oregon works to optimize economic opportunity, advance equity and respect the ecosystems, cultures and places that make Oregon… Oregon.

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.

Travel Oregon has worked with Dean Runyan Associates to estimate the economic significance of the travel industry in Oregon over the last 19 years. The resulting annual report defines the economic impacts of travel to and throughout the state, including each of its seven tourism regions and all 36 counties over the time period of 2003 to 2022. The report covers detailed estimates of travel spending, the employment and earnings generated by this spending, and travel-generated tax receipts. 

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