Data from research firm Dean Runyan indicate that spending in Douglas County’s travel and tourism industry continued to grow in 2018, the ninth straight year of growth after dropping off during the Great Recession.
Travel spending in Douglas County grew throughout the 1990s and peaked in 2008 at $216.0 million. As the Great Recession took hold in 2009, travel spending dropped $18.9 million, or 8.7 percent, to $197.5 million.
Since then, travel spending has grown each year, reaching $244.1 million in 2018. The growth rate since 2009 was 23.6 percent, well ahead of the U.S. inflation rate of 17.0 percent. During the most recent year, from 2017 to 2018, travel spending increased $6.6 million, or 2.8 percent, compared with 4.2 percent statewide. Travel spending growth in Douglas County has accelerated compared with 2017, when the rate of growth was 1.8 percent.
Douglas County had the 11th highest level of direct travel spending of Oregon’s 36 counties in 2018. Multnomah County was first with $4.1 billion. — Scott Carroll