Jan. 14, 2021                                                                                                                                                                                        
Good afternoon, 
A new year brings hope and aspiration for what’s to come. With 2020 behind us, and the state working diligently to distribute COVID-19 vaccines, I am optimistic about the year ahead. Recent numbers from Destination Analysts tell us Americans in a travel readiness state-of-mind soared nearly 12 percentage points to 58.6% - the highest it has been in the pandemic. Yet with this, comes the reality that, though we can see glimmers of light, we are not yet out of the tunnel. Therefore, Travel Oregon is continuing to develop strategic investments to support small businesses and organizations across the state that are responsive to the “next normal” being created by the pandemic -- all with an eye on working towards economic recovery and resiliency.
Today, I am pleased to announce that Travel Oregon is rolling out a suite of investments over the next few months. The first of these investments is a new program called “Destination Ready” which provides funding and assistance to destination-based organizations to bolster key tourism products and experiences for summer 2021. We believe that our support of visitor experiences that are COVID-19 appropriate will aid economic recovery and enhance local livability. You can find details about this exciting new program below. The launch of Destination Ready will be followed by the successive openings of our COVID-19 Emergency Response Grants, focusing on business continuity and resiliency and the Oregon Wine Country License Plate Matching Grants program this spring. We are also working through the creative process of an inspirational travel marketing campaign so we are ready to launch when it is safe to do so, the timing is appropriate, and our campaign will have the strongest economic impact. This will be paired with co-op direct investment opportunities for partners statewide. 
As we envision new ways to support our tourism partners, we are also focused on reimagining tourism in Oregon through a strategic planning and agency organizational design process. In February, Travel Oregon is embarking on developing a multi-year approach to the rebuilding and stabilization of Oregon’s tourism economy. The feedback received from this year’s stakeholder survey helped build the foundation for the strategic plan, and targeted outreach efforts through the spring will provide input on priorities and needs. We look forward to continuing this critical dialogue and engaging you on our plans as they are fully developed.
I am grateful for you, the tourism partners we have across the state, and excited for all we will accomplish together in 2021.

Be well,
Todd Davidson
CEO, Travel Oregon

Announcing Travel Oregon's Destination Ready Program

Travel Oregon is excited to announce the launch of the Destination Ready program to support destination development efforts in advance of summer 2021. This $250,000 direct investment program offers funding and technical assistance for the development, enhancement and stewardship of key visitor experiences that are COVID-19 appropriate. Eligible entities include destination and regional destination management organizations, municipal government and public entities, economic development entities, and supporting local partners focused on recreation, downtown development and culinary or agritourism. Project awards can range from $10,000 - $50,000 and are expected to be completed within six months. View full list of eligible project categories and associated projects.
Applications are open until 12 p.m. PST on Wednesday, Feb. 3. Find more information at industry.traveloregon.com/destinationready. An information session will be hosted on Jan. 21, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. PST.  Register for the information session. 

Outdoor Recreation Economic Impact Study

Travel Oregon, in partnership with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), the Oregon Office of Outdoor Recreation (OREC), Oregon Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) and Earth Economics, is excited to announce a new Outdoor Recreation Economic Impact Study. The first-of-its-kind study finds that in 2019 outdoor recreation supported more than 224,000 full- and part-time jobs statewide and generated $9.3 billion in wages and compensation. The study also found that in 2019, outdoor recreation in Oregon supported $15.6 billion in spending, which includes everything from trip-related spending (money spent on recreational trips), to expenditures on equipment-related spending (outdoor recreation gear, apparel, equipment, and repair). Read the full study, and access fact sheets that break down the data by county, tourism region and state Senate districts here.

National Plan for Vacation Day is Jan. 26

With nonessential travel currently limited in Oregon to help slow the spread of COVID-19, we know things are different this year. Yet, 6 in 10 Americans say they desperately need a vacation. Luckily, studies show that just planning to take a vacation can help lower stress and make you happier. Set aside time on Jan. 26 to start dreaming of future trips in the year ahead – whether you need a change of scenery, want to check off a bucket list destination or reconnect with a loved one – make 2021 the year to #PlanForVacation. Access U.S. Travel’s National Plan for Vacation Day toolkit for images, social media copy and other resources to speak to your audiences to help them plan their future trip. 
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Contact Travel Oregon at: 503-967-1560 or by email Industry@TravelOregon.com
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