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Tourism Dollars on Oregon Coast Reach New Heights, Boosting Local Economies

Published 05/12/23 at 5:24 AM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Tourism Dollars on Oregon Coast Reach New Heights, Boosting Local Economies

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(Oregon Coast) – Some truly good news has sprung this spring for Oregon's travel industry, as Travel Oregon announced this week that tourism numbers in the region made some sizable jumps in 2022 – figures that are quite welcome after the pandemic. Growth has been consistent, positively affecting employment numbers, making for an increase in employee earnings and thus tax revenue to local governments and services. (Above: Otter Rock, Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

The data comes from a recent economic impact report done by Travel Oregon. The agency said the state's “travel economy reached new highs” in almost all categories.

Throughout the whole state, spending by travelers was up substantially, and that coupled with a tight labor market resulted in higher earnings for travel industry workers across the board. All those tourism dollars also made for increased room taxes for hotels, which benefits local communities.

Humbug Mountain, photo Trail Keepers of Oregon

Among the most significant figures came from the Oregon coast, seeing a higher-than-usual economic gain in the last year. Spending by visitors in that region went up 24% to $2.4 billion. This nudged employment there upwards by 16.4%, with little towns like Gold Beach, Charleston, Seaside or Newport part of the 25,290 employees along the entire coastline.

“ Earnings increased by 24% to reach a total of $874.5 million while tax revenue jumped 14.7% from $101 million in 2021 to $116 million in 2022,” Travel Oregon said.

At Oregon Coast Visitors Association (OCVA), Executive Director Marcus Hinz said there is a kind of magic that the Oregon coast has to offer.

"Our goal is that the tourism industry helps support and strengthen coastal communities,” Hind said. “Visitor spending contributes to economic development, and visitor stewardship preserves and protects coastal ecosystems and natural resources.”

Part of the OCVA's mission is to facilitate a responsible way of playing and sightseeing along the coastline, something many of the local chambers and visitor centers have adopted as well. Several destination websites on the Oregon coast encourage and teach less impactful practices while visiting the beaches, keeping it intact for future generations as well as in the immediate future - for the next set of visitors rolling up to check out an area. This is being worked on even as visitor numbers swell each year. These kind of travel economic numbers help fund those efforts.

Travel spending is an economic powerhouse, Travel Oregon said, providing more means of uplifting communities up and down the Oregon coast – and not just in the realm of travel. Those dollars go back in to those cities and burgs.

The area encompasses 32 cities, three regions and about 363 miles of rugged shores – still considered among the cleanest in the world. MORE OREGON COAST BELOW

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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