PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The travel industry has come to a near standstill amid the coronavirus pandemic. It’s an issue KOIN 6 News will be spotlighting this week for National Travel and Tourism Week.
While it is traditionally a time to celebrate what travel means for local economies, jobs, and personal well-being, current stay-home orders and park closures are keeping people away from Oregon’s most well-known landmarks and forcing many businesses that depend on travelers to close. Last year, the travel and tourism industry brought more than $12 billion into the state’s economy—a figure that will look very different after 2020.
“I think really what we can focus on is when Governor Brown lifts the travel restrictions—it’s going to be more important than ever to go out into those rural places and support those local businesses, the restaurants,” said Allison Keeney, Communications Manager for Travel Oregon. “This is how we can have an actual impact on helping all of our tourism businesses recover.”
“We are so lucky to have such varied landscapes and micro-climates. Really just within a short drive away we have the coast, the willamette valley nearby, but drive a few hours and you’re in the high deserts of Central Oregon, you can get out into the wide open spaces of Eastern and Southern Oregon, so Oregon does have a lot of places that you can visit and there will be less people, and it’ll be those rural areas seeing more people because there’s more space to enjoy”
Keeney added that in 2019, the tourism industry employed more than 117,000 Oregonians.
“Clearly this is a very big economic driver for the state and it’s going to be a very integral part of the state’s economic recovery.”
For National Travel and Tourism Week, KOIN 6 News will be giving virtual tours of Oregon—from some of the best-kept secrets to bucket list trips—all featured on AM Extra on Portland’s CW. That way, when it’s safe to get back out there, you’ll know exactly where to go, equipped with the best advice from Travel Oregon.
PSST…Download a custom Travel Oregon virtual background for your next Zoom call here!