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Travel Oregon awards over $500K for local tourism projects

Aug 30, 2016

SALEM, OR - An artisan food trail, wayfinding signage and non-stop air service will now be available for visitors and locals, thanks in part to $560,000 of matching grant funding awarded by the Oregon Tourism Commission, dba Travel Oregon.

Travel Oregon administers a competitive program that makes grant awards to eligible applicants for projects that contribute to the development and improvement of communities throughout the state by enhancing, expanding and promoting the visitor industry. In addition, through the Oregon Wine Country Plates Matching Grants Program, projects or activities that promote wine and/or culinary tourism are eligible for funding.

"The scale and impact of these investment dollars across our state are diverse," said Travel Oregon CEO Todd Davidson. "For some communities, these funds will help initiate enhanced economic growth, while for others, these grant dollars will provide an immediate impact in communities throughout the state by enhancing local infrastructure for visitors and residents."

The awarded grant projects will be completed by September 2017.

The Travel Oregon Matching Grant awardees and their projects are:

• Central Oregon Air Service Team to bring nonstop commercial air service on American Airlines between Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and the Redmond Airport

• Gold Beach to create a collaborative regional image library for the Wild Rivers Coast

• Lincoln City to create a trailhead kiosk and educational wayfinding signage on the Cascade Head hiking trails that will promote both hiking and disc golf as local recreational opportunities

• Redmond for the creation and installation of wayfinding signage that will direct visitors to key destinations and attractions within the city

• St. Helens to create a city-wide brand that will highlight local assets for visitors and to create a wayfinding master plan

• Community Service Center, University of Oregon for an Oregon Film Festival economic impact analysis and marketing strategy that will help Oregon Film, festival organizers and local and regional destination marketing organizations understand the film festival visitor profile in order to more effectively market to target audiences

• Discover Klamath Visitor and Convention Bureau for phase II of their new brand launch to expand awareness and inspire visitor engagement as part of the Klamath Falls story

• Eastern Oregon Visitors Association for coordination of the marketing efforts of Eastern Oregon communities located on the Aug. 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse "Path of Totality"

• Eastern Oregon Visitors Association for implementation of the Eastern Oregon Agritourism Marketing Plan, including brand development, that will build tools to offer visitors agritourism experiences throughout the region

• Emerald Art Center for expansion of marketing efforts of their year-round multi-day workshops that bring art-inspired visitors from across the United States and Canada to Lane County

• Friends of the Oregon Caves and Chateau for the restoration of space that will allow for the Chateau to be used as a year-round meetings and events venue

• Greater Bandon Association for the installation of a visitor information kiosk and cyclist lockers at the Bandon Cycle Stop Rest and Repair so that cyclists can store their items as they explore and shop the town

• Joseph Center for Arts and Culture to create a Northeast Oregon Arts Trail Map that will broaden visitor opportunities by highlighting the arts and cultural events and attractions throughout Wallowa, Union and Baker counties

• Klamath Trails Alliance for the development of a four-mile black-diamond trail on the Spence Mountain Trail, known as the Spence North Ridge

• Lan Su Chinese Garden for a shoulder-season visitor campaign that will use 360° videos, photos and other visual assets to showcase the garden's unique design elements and beauty

• Lincoln City Visitors and Convention Bureau for advertising and promotion of a new shoulder-season event, A Tour to Die For, that will use actors to bring stories from the Historical Museum and Pioneer Cemetery to life

• Main Street Oregon City for phase I of an Oregon City tourism plan designed to establish a comprehensive tourism marketing brand

• Oregon Trail Preservation Trust to publish, distribute and promote three new auto tours that will take visitors along Scenic Byways; state parks; and the Lewis & Clark, Oregon and Nez Perce trails through Eastern Oregon, the Columbia River Gorge and the Oregon coast

• Portland Center Stage for the development and marketing of three distinct visitor tours based on the Northwest Stories series: "The Oregon Trail," "Wild and Reckless" and "Astoria"

• Portland Japanese Garden to develop a fully-translated Japanese and simplified Chinese website that will enhance the international visitor's experience

• Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust for the development of a strategic communications, marketing and promotion plan for the Salmonberry Trail, a regional multi-use path extending from western Washington County to the Oregon Coast in Tillamook County that primarily follows an 86-mile-long former rail corridor

The Oregon Wine Country Plates Matching Grant awardees and their projects are:

• Lincoln City Visitors and Convention Bureau for advertising and marketing of a new local event, the Lincoln City Chowder & Brewfest, an event that will draw visitors to the coast during the shoulder season

• North Willamette Vintners for the implementation of a new passport program, Taste of the North Valley, that will invite visitors to experience the smaller wineries and businesses throughout Washington County

• Oregon Brewers Guild to redesign for mobile optimization that will include regional and sub-regional maps so visitors can easily access a list of breweries in and around Oregon destinations

• Oregon Cheese Guild to expand the Oregon Cheese Trail into an artisan food trail that will include specialty food producers beyond creameries; the trail will invite visitors to explore remote parts of the state that are not otherwise known as culinary destinations

• Travel Salem for the production of several short videos highlighting the Marion and Polk county culinary and outdoor recreation scenes. Videos will be used to educate and promote the Mid-Willamette Valley as a culinary and agritourism destination to visitors

• Willamette Valley Wineries Association to bring the Pinot in the City event to Texas and increase the Willamette Valley and Oregon's presence in the target cities of Austin and Dallas

Revenue generated by the sale of the Wine Country license plates funded the 2016/2017 Oregon Wine Country Plates Matching Grant awards cycle.

Travel Oregon awards over $500K for local tourism projects

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