Officials unveil plan of action for tourism
Herald and News
Klamath Falls, Oregon
April 27, 2005
By LEE JUILLERAT
Interested in bicycling? Fishing? Birding?
How about visiting tribal lands. Or golfing, and winter snow sports.
Whether you’re from Klamath County, somewhere else in Oregon, New York, or even Germany, Japan, Mexico or Italy, Todd Davidson says the blitz to lure visitors is on.
“This is not a plan for the timid,” Davidson, the chief executive officer of Travel Oregon, said of his group’s plans to aggressively try to increase tourism from within and outside Oregon. “It’s an opportunity to seize, or squander.”
Davidson was the keynote speaker at Tuesday’s first-ever Great Basin Visitor Association awards luncheon at Oregon Institute of Technology’s College Union.
In an upbeat presentation, Davidson outlined Travel Oregon’s 2005-07 marketing plan that he hopes will continue to encourage more Oregonians to better know their state, and to entice people from around the nation and world to have an “Oregon experience.”
Emphasizing a spirit of cooperation and partnerships, Davidson said Oregon tourism is nearly a $7 billion industry that employs 88,000 people statewide. He said passage of legislation that increased the department’s budget from $3 million to $8 million helped the state increase its tourism efforts.
“So it’s truly a great time to be part of Oregon’s tourism industry.”
Davidson cited Travel Office successes, including emphasizing Oregon products through the Oregon Bounty program.
He termed the June release of the Oregon quarter, which features a Crater Lake design, “a great opportunity for us to put Oregon in the national spotlight.”
Davidson said he believes the promotional campaign, which has been received coolly by many Klamath County groups because the kickoff will be in Portland, not at Crater Lake National Park, will serve as an “invitation to Oregonians and others to visit Crater Lake.”
The official quarter “launch” with the United States Mint is set for June 15 at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland. Tentative plans also call for a late-summer event at Crater Lake.
Travel Oregon is overseeing promotion of a Crater Lake getaway vacation contest that began Wednesday at the organization’s Web site at www.traveloregon.com.
Future plans include focusing on niche groups, such as people interested in such activities as golf, snow sport, bicycle touring, tribal tourism, fishing and birding. Along with created advertising campaigns in New York, his office is promoting visits in Germany, Japan and Mexico – countries that have direct flights to Portland.
“Look for us to be very aggressive in Germany and all of Europe,” he said.
Davidson praised Klamath Basin tourism efforts and noted that two groups, the Klamath Basin Birding Trail Working Group and the 30 Mile Club, won the cooperative partnership and volunteer achievement awards at the annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Pendleton earlier this month.
In re-presenting awards to members of both organizations, Davidson said the groups demonstrate “things that can happen when we’re united in purpose and tenacious in delivery.”
Dawnn Brown, Great Basin’s executive director, detailed some of the organization’s first-year successes, including seeing motel taxes increase 7.8 percent.
Brown presented a Spirit of Cooperation Award to the Running Y Ranch Resort marketing department for its assistance with promotional materials and the Spirit of Service Award to Mel Ivy of Oregon Institute of Technology for developing an access data base.