Lane County Travel Spending Accelerates

by Brian Rooney

August 14, 2017

Data from research firm Dean Runyan indicate that spending in the travel and tourism industry continued to grow and accelerate in 2016 in Lane County after dropping off during the Great Recession.
The graph shows that travel spending in Lane County grew throughout the 1990s and peaked in 2008 at $717.0 million. As the Great Recession took hold in 2009, travel spending dropped $39.7 million, or -5.5 percent to reach $677.3 million. Since then travel spending has grown each year reaching $930.1 million in 2016.

The growth rate over the recovery period since 2009 was 37.4 percent, which was well ahead of the U.S. inflation rate of 11.7 percent, meaning that travel spending is growing beyond the rate of inflation. During the most recent year, from 2015 to 2016, travel spending increased $60.2 million, or 6.9 percent. This is the fastest growth rate since 2010 when it was 8.2 percent.

The largest share of spending in 2016 was in food service (28.7%) followed by accommodations (19.5%); retail sales (13.8%); arts, entertainment and recreation (12.7%); food stores (9.6%); local transportation and gas (9.4%); and visitor air transportation (6.3%).

Most travel spending occurred in the eastern portion of the county, which includes the Eugene-Springfield area, at $794.0 million (85.4%). The remaining $136.2 million of travel spending occurred in the coastal portion of the county.

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