Travel Oregon, Oregon’s tourism office, has created a plan to invest millions of dollars in the tourism industry to aid in its recovery.
The Competitive & Recovery Grant Program will award up to $2.3 million in grants to fund infrastructure throughout the state, from the creation of signage to outdoor public spaces. Local governments, tour operators, guides and outfitters, nonprofits, port districts and federally recognized tribes are encouraged to apply.
The applications are due by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 31. The winners of the grants will be announced on April 30.
This new development is the state’s second major investment this year. The Destination Ready program, announced last month, awarded $913,000 in grants to 34 projects focusing on the development and enhancement of COVID-19 appropriate visitor experiences.
“Tourism is a vital component of Oregon’s economic recovery; Travel Oregon’s investments strategically and creatively address needs specific to our state, bolstering small, local businesses and communities that have borne the brunt of the Covid-related impacts,” said Todd Davidson, Travel Oregon CEO. “The time to invest is now. More than 80% of Oregonians are making plans to travel sometime in the next six months, and it is essential that we aid communities in being poised to welcome visitors safely.”
Travel Oregon has also created “Why Guides,” a guide and outfitter registry that promotes local outdoor recreation services, from wine tours to fly fishing and more. The Why Guides registry will open on Travel Oregon’s website in early April.
Tourism plays a large role in Oregon’s economy. On average, the state welcomes more than a million visitors. Visitor spending in Oregon dropped by fifty-eight percent in 2020. Nearly half of all Oregonians who lost their jobs during the pandemic were in the leisure and hospitality industry.
For more information, please visit TravelOregon.com.