This report from an Oregon state economist talks about the impact of travel to our local economy. It appeared originally on the East Cascades regional report page of the Oregon Employment Department web site.
In 2014, travel impacts in Wasco County produced $102.4 million in 2014 spending, an increase of $12.1 million, or 13.4 percent, in one year. These are direct travel impacts and do not include secondary (indirect or induced) impacts Travel spending in Wasco County supported 1,640 jobs and provided $34.4 million in earnings.– according to a report by Dean Runyan Associates www.deanrunyan.com/doc_library/ORImp.pdf.
The Northern portion of Wasco County, primarily represented by The Dalles, brought in $64.9 million in travel spending, or about 63 percent of the 2014 total. South Wasco County – which includes whitewater rafting in Maupin and the Kah-Nee-Ta resort – brought in $37.5 million, or 37 percent.
Overnight travel produced Wasco County’s greatest impact, with $65.2 million in 2014 visitor spending. Overnight visitor volume climbed to 107,500 person-nights, an increase of 8.9 percent. Day travel also produced significant impacts, with 39,100 person-trips in 2014, and $33.2 million in visitor spending. Wasco County Hotel/Motel visitors spent $281 per day/travel party, or $115 per person/day in 2014.
Wasco County’s 2014 travel spending generated 1,090 jobs in accommodation and food services, followed by arts, entertainment and recreation with 410, and retail trade with 110.
Travel spending also produces tax receipts, with $0.9 million for local Wasco County coffers in 2014 and $2.6 million in state taxes.
Travel spending in Gilliam County totaled $4.2 million in 2014, generating 50 jobs. Sherman County’s travel spending also produced 50 jobs in 2014, with travel receipts reaching $4.8 million. In Wheeler County travel impacts generated $2.8 million in spending and 30 travel related jobs.
Travel spending in 2014 totaled $193.1 million in the Columbia Gorge region. Nearly 70 percent of the region’s 2014 travel spending came from overnight sources, which brought in $134.3 million. Hotel/Motel led overnight travel spending sources in 2014, with $100.4 million or 52 percent of all travel spending. Private homes ($15.7 million), campgrounds ($14.8 million) and vacation homes ($3.5 million) together represented 17.6 percent the Columbia Gorge’s 2014 travel spending. Day travel brought in $58.8 million travel dollars nearly 31 percent of the Columbia Gorge’s 2014 total.