The Oregon Tourism Commission, dba Travel Oregon, has awarded more than $470,000 in matching grant funding to organizations around the state to enhance, expand and promote the tourism industry.

Hood River Soaring, based at Ken Jernstedt Airport, has been granted $20,000 to develop a strategic communications and marketing plan to increase the number of glider tours and to increase overnight stays to Hood River.

Historic underground tours, cowboy courtesy, mountain bike trail development, public art installations and diversity and inclusion trainings are just a sampling of the projects that will “make Oregon a more welcoming and exciting place to live and visit,” according to a Travel Oregon press release.

 The competitive grants program awards eligible applicants funding for projects that contribute to Oregon’s tourism economy in communities throughout the state that support Travel Oregon’s vision of a better life for all Oregonians through strong, sustainable local communities that welcome a diversity of explorers.

In 11 years, more than $8 million has been awarded to 190 projects across the state through Travel Oregon’s grant program. 

“Travel Oregon’s mission is to inspire travel that drives community enhancement and economic development,” said Todd Davidson, Travel Oregon CEO, “By supporting these projects, we are not only working to fulfill this mission, but also making Oregon a better place for residents and visitors by increasing accessibility to attractions and preserving the state’s history and its natural places.” 

The 30 grant projects awarded this year will be completed by October 2020.

Other project include:

  •  Baker Loves Bikes ($8,000) to increase visitation to Eastern Oregon by marketing the new Churchill Hostel as a year-round destination for cyclists and skiers. 
  •  Oregon Made Creative Foundation ($20,000) to create and install 15 new signs along the Historic Oregon Film Trail. Funds will also help market these additions to the trail, which designate notable film and TV locations across the state.
  •  High Desert Museum ($20,000) to establish “Creating Together,” a committee comprised of experts from across the region, including five Tribal representatives, that will explore and refine major ideas for the renovation of the museum’s permanent exhibit, “By Hand Through Memory.”
  •  Travel Pendleton ($15,000) to develop a “Cowboy Courtesy Center” – a mobile visitor center, featuring electric horses, that connects staff to visitors throughout Pendleton to provide firsthand local information, tips and personalized trip planning.
  •  Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport ($20,000) to support a minimum revenue guarantee incentive for new air service and routes to increase accessibility to Southern Oregon.
  •  Travel Salem ($10,000) to design a Historic Downtown Salem Underground Tour program, making use of the city’s network of underground tunnels dating back to the late 1800s.
  •  Travel Southern Oregon ($8,400) for three regional diversity and inclusion trainings for Destination Management Organizations and partners in the hospitality industry.
  •  Visit Corvallis ($20,000) for its first ever visitor profile research study to gain insight into visitor interests, their trip planning process and overall demographic information.
  •  Visit Corvallis ($4,835) to attend the TEAMS Conference and Expo, the world’s leading conference and expo for the sports-event industry.
  •  Washed Ashore ($20,000) to go toward a new sculpture along the Oregon Coast.
  •  Willamette Heritage Center ($10,655) to replace outdated signage at the five-acre historical site in downtown Salem. 
  • Travel Oregon’s Competitive Medium Grants funding cycle will open in April 2020.

For more information on Travel Oregon’s grants program, contact Michelle Woodard at grants@traveloregon.com or visit: industry.traveloregon.com/grants

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