Wasco County Travel Spending Grows to $116 Million in 2016

by Dallas Fridley

September 18, 2017

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 $11.3 billion in 2016.

Direct travel spending in Wasco County totaled $116 million in 2016 – an increase of 6.9 percent compared with 2015’s $108.5 million. North Wasco County travel spending totaled $73.1 million (63%) and South Wasco County travel spending totaled $42.9 million.

Overnight visitors represented the biggest slice of travel spending, shelling out $77 million in 2016. Accommodations led all commodities purchased, capturing $37.4 million, followed by food service at $29.5 million. Together, accommodation and food services captured over 59 percent of Wasco County’s 2016 destination spending. Arts, entertainment, and recreation captured $16.1 million in visitor spending (14.2%), followed by retail sales, at $13 million (11.5%) and food stores at $10.6 million (9.4%).

Accommodation and food services dominated Wasco County’s travel generated employment trends, producing 1,190 jobs in 2016, about 65 percent of the 1,820 jobs  generated by travel spending across all industries. Travel spending in arts, entertainment, and recreation generated 490 jobs, followed by retail trade with 120. Travel spending in North Wasco County produced 1,120 jobs or about three-in-five, while South Wasco County supported 700 jobs or about two out of five. According to the report, travel spending generated about 12.4 percent of Wasco County’s total employment (across all industries) in 2015.

Overnight travelers spent about $146 in Wasco County per person, averaging $67 per day over a 2.1 night length of stay. Traveling parties averaged 2.7 persons, spending $184 per day or $387 for the trip. Hotel and motel stays generated much higher visitor expenditures than other types of overnight accommodation. Hotel and motel guests spent $207 per Wasco County trip, while staying 1.7 nights. Party size in the hotel/motel group averaged 2.5 persons, generating $305 per day or $507 per trip. According to the report, $62,250 in 2016 visitor spending supported one job in Wasco County.

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