Morrow County Travel Spending Surpasses $16 Million in 2018

by Dallas Fridley

July 22, 2019

Dean Runyan Associates ( recently released Oregon Travel Impacts, a study detailing the significance of the travel industry in Oregon and its 36 counties. According to the study, direct travel spending in Oregon reached $12.3 billion in 2018.

Oregon’s metro counties captured $9.3 billion or three out of four travel dollars in 2018 while rural counties earned $3.0 billion. Metro counties were less dependent on travel generated employment, with travel spending in urban Oregon (Benton, Clackamas, Columbia, Deschutes, Jackson, Josephine, Lane, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Washington, and Yamhill counties) producing almost 4 percent of its 2017 total employment. In rural Oregon counties, travel spending generated nearly 12 percent of its jobs in 2017. In Morrow County, travel spending generated just 2.5 percent of its 2017 employment total.
Direct travel spending in Morrow County totaled $16.4 million in 2018 – an increase of $0.6 million or 3.4 percent compared with 2017’s $15.8 million. Overnight visitors represented the biggest slice of travel spending, shelling out $11.8 million in 2018. Visitor spending split fairly evenly between accommodations, at $4.2 million, and food services, at $4.1 million. Together, accommodation and food services captured over half (56%) of Morrow County’s 2018 destination spending. Arts, entertainment, and recreation captured $2.1 million in visitor spending (14%), while food stores generated $1.6 million and retail sales brought in $1.5 million.
Accommodation and food services dominated Morrow County’s travel employment trends, producing 160 jobs in 2018, about 73 percent of the 220 generated by travel spending across all industries. Travel spending generated 40 jobs in arts, entertainment, and recreation, while retail (includes gasoline) produced 20. According to the report, travel spending generated about 2.5 percent of Morrow County’s total employment in 2017.

Overnight travelers spent about $98 in Morrow County per person, averaging $44 per day over a 2.2 night length of stay. Traveling parties averaged 2.7 persons, spending $117 per day or $256 for the trip. Hotel, motel, and short-term vacation rental (STVR) stays generated much higher visitor expenditures than other types of overnight accommodation. Hotel, motel, and STVR guests spent $150 per Morrow County trip while staying 1.7 nights. Party size in the hotel, motel, and STVR group averaged 2.5 persons, generating $222 per day or $369 per trip. According to the report, $66,576 in 2018 visitor spending supported one job in Morrow County.

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