Umatilla County Travel Spending Rises to $168.3 Million in 2018

by Dallas Fridley

July 9, 2019

Dean Runyan Associates (www.deanrunyan.com) 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.

Overnight visitors to Umatilla County logged nearly 1.8 million person-nights in 2018. On any given night, overnight visitors to Umatilla County represented about 6 percent of its 2017 population. Lincoln County led Oregon, with a ratio of nearly three overnight visitors for every 10 residents (27.8%).

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. Umatilla County travel spending generated a more reserved 6.2 percent of its 2017 employment.
Direct travel spending in Umatilla County totaled $168.3 million in 2018 – a gain of $6.3 million or 3.1 percent compared with 2017’s $162 million. Overnight visitors represented the biggest slice of travel spending, shelling out $108.9 million in 2018. Food services led all commodities purchased, capturing $44.8 million, followed by accommodations at $34.6 million. Together, accommodation and food services captured over half (51%) of Umatilla County’s 2018 travel destination spending. Arts, entertainment and recreation captured $26.7 million in visitor spending (17.2%), followed by retail sales, at $17.6 million (11.3%), and food stores at $13.9 million (9.1%).
Accommodation and food services dominated Umatilla County’s travel generated employment, producing 1,570 jobs in 2018, about 62 percent of the 2,520 generated by travel spending across all industries. Travel spending in arts, entertainment and recreation generated 670 jobs, followed by retail trade (and gas) with 190.
Overnight travelers spent about $130 in Umatilla County per person, averaging $61 per day over a 2.1 night length of stay. Traveling parties averaged 2.6 persons, spending $159 per day or $334 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 $166 per trip to Umatilla County while staying 1.7 nights. Party size in the hotel, motel and STVR group averaged 2.5 persons, generating $245 per day or $408 per trip. According to the report, $63,242 in 2018 visitor spending supported one job in Umatilla County.


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