Portland sees a tourism boom

Portland sees a tourism boom

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by Joe Smith, KGW Business Reporter

kgw.com

Posted on February 24, 2014 at 7:25 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 24 at 8:12 PM

PORTLAND -- If you've noticed more people in restaurants and shops downtown, it's no accident.

More people are paying Portland a visit and it's helping tourism reach new heights.

Hotels that are seeing a big increase in tourism dollars, which spills over to the city's food scene, entertainment and retailers.

In 2013,  $4.3 billion was spent by visitors in the city. Currently, 30,000 jobs are tied to tourism in Portland.

Officials report that tourists are coming from across the country and internationally, with many travelers from Asia, Europe and now Australia and New Zealand making the trip to the Rose City.

A 2 percent lodging tax is helping spread the word, thanks to a campaign developed by Wieden and Kennedy ad agency entitled "Portland is Happening Now."

"We are a very cool place, but we don't want to brag about it, because that wouldn't be cool," said Tamara Kennedy-Hill, Director of Community Relations for Travel Oregon. "It's just Portland's way, but I think what's starting here is we can leverage why people are attracted to move here is why people want to visit here."

For downtown hotels, occupancy rates are in many cases at 90 percent, especially during the summer months. Rates have increased on average $10 a night.

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