(National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) 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 economy while supporting the success of other industries. Statewide, 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. A recent economic impact report released by Travel Oregon highlights that the state and regional 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.
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.”
The Oregon Coast enjoyed significant economic gains in 2022. Visitor spending increased by 24% to $2.4 billion. Employment climbed 16.4% from 2021 to 2022 to employ 25,290 workers. Earnings increased by 24% to reach a total of $874.5 million while tax revenue jumped 14.7% from $101 million in 2021 to $116 million in 2022.
“It’s our privilege to welcome travelers to experience all the magic the Oregon Coast has to offer,” said Marcus Hinz, Executive Director, Oregon Coast Visitors Association (OCVA). “Our goal is that the tourism industry helps support and strengthen coastal communities. Visitor spending contributes to economic development, and visitor stewardship preserves and protects coastal ecosystems and natural resources. Through proactive destination management strategies, travel and tourism can help the Oregon Coast truly become a coastal utopia for all.”
Travel is an economic powerhouse that drives the opportunity to uplift communities up and down the Oregon Coast. Covering 32 cities, three regions and 363 miles of rugged coastline, the Oregon Coast’s diverse destinations offer something for every visitor in every season — from beachcombing, epic coastal hiking and surfing to golfing by the ocean, kayaking or exploring the dunes by buggy or sandboard.
OCVA works with coastal communities to align partnerships, destination development projects, and destination marketing with the vision of creating “a coastal utopia for all.” This encompasses coastal stakeholders, new and returning visitors, and the natural resources that make these coveted coastal experiences so magical.
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.