PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The number of locals encouraging friends and family to visit Portland has dropped by 27% since 2017, a 2023 survey commissioned by Travel Portland shows.
Travel Portland strategist Megan Conway presented the not-for-profit, tourism-marketing organization’s findings to the Portland City Council during its annual report. Among other things in the report, Travel Portland outlined a survey showing how local residents in and around Portland feel about the city as a tourist destination.
“In 2017, research found that 88% of Portlanders encouraged friends and family to visit, making them great ambassadors for the city,” Conway said. “Fast forward to January of 2023 and new research shows that Portlanders are less likely to recommend Portland with only 61% encouraging visitation.”
Of the 600 residents polled for the survey, 300 lived within the city of Portland and 300 lived directly outside of the city within areas of Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington Counties. Of these people, Travel Portland found that people living within the city limits, younger citizens and those who had recently visited the Downtown Portland area were more likely to recommend the area to prospective tourists.
“How recently people visited downtown had a direct correlation to whether or not they recommended the city,” Conway said.
Despite the increasingly unfavorable opinions of the city expressed by local residents, the data also showed that Portland is seeing increased interest from prospective tourists.
A consumer research study provided by Travel Portland shows that Portland’s appeal as a vacation destination has slowly increased since tanking in late 2020. However, tourist interest still remains below 2019 and early 2020 levels. The research also showed that people who have visited Portland in the past say that they would like to come back.
“What this slide communicates is that our visitors really do love Portland,” Conway said. “Intent to return if you’ve been here before and has returned to 2019 levels.”