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Tourism Breaks Record for Economic Impact and Jobs Numbers in the Mid-Willamette Valley

Tuesday, May 19, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Elizabeth Peters
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An independent report recently released by Dean Runyan Associates shows that travel spending, employment and earnings reached an all-time high in the Mid-Willamette Valley (Marion and Polk Counties) in 2014. The study also shows that visitor spending in the Mid-Willamette Valley region increased for the fifth year in a row since 2010.


The report, which provides detailed statewide, regional and county travel impact estimates, found that:

  • Visitors to the Mid-Willamette Valley generated $548.4 million in revenue in 2014. This 2.1 percent increase over 2013 marks the fifth consecutive year of growth.
  • The travel and tourism industry in the Mid-Willamette Valley employs 6,953 people with earnings of $134.4 million in 2014 – up 10.5 percent over 2013.
  • Visitors generated $3.4 million in local tax revenue in 2014 – an 8.9 percent increase over 2013.

“Travel and tourism is a vital economic engine that benefits all corners of the local economy … pumping new dollars into the region that support business expansion, job creation and healthy communities,” said Angie Morris, president and CEO of Travel Salem, the Mid-Willamette Valley’s nonprofit destination marketing organization.


Morris attributes much of the growth to strong partnerships with businesses, local government and organizations such as the Salem Area Lodging Association, as well as focused strategic efforts to market the area and bring in new groups and sporting events. 

“Travel Salem and its partners continue to strategically position the Mid-Willamette Valley as a premier destination, a place recognized for its unique cultural assets, culinary innovations and lush green spaces,” added Morris.


The report findings show that the positive growth in the Salem region is in line with statewide and national trends. Statewide, travel and tourism generated $10.3 billion in revenue and provides jobs for 101,100 Oregonians. Nationally, travel and tourism has become America’s number one service export, comprising 10 percent of all U.S. exports, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

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