Tourism in Lane County is an important economic driver. From our coastal communities, to our metro areas, to our river and mountain enclaves also vulnerable to devastating wildfires, these regions rely on visitors to maintain jobs and for revenue.
“Our tourism-based economy provides 1,900 jobs and $139 million in economic activity each year,” says Bettina Hannigan, president and CEO of the Florence Chamber of Commerce.
But 2020 is very different.
According to the state’s July jobs report, year over year comparing 2019 to 2020, statewide the leisure and hospitality sector lost about 58,000 jobs.
Revenue driven events, such as the Rhody Fest and the Oregon Country Fair, were nonexistent.
“A lot of significant festivals did not happen this year,” says Kari Westlund, president and CEO of Travel Lane County, a nonprofit that promotes Lane County’s leisure and hospitality sector….