Wasco County Visitors Logged Around 1.2 Million Overnight Stays in 2017

by Dallas Fridley

November 29, 2018

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 $11.8 billion in 2017.

Travel spending was concentrated in Oregon’s urban areas although urban Oregon was less dependent on travel generated employment. Travel spending in urban Oregon counties, including Clackamas, Lane, Marion, Multnomah, and Washington, generated about two percent of its 2016 total employment. In all other Oregon counties, travel generated employment represented a much higher eight percent of total employment. In Wasco County travel spending generated 12.4 percent of its 2016 employment total.

Direct travel spending in Wasco County totaled $122.3 million in 2017 – an increase of 6.3 percent or 7.2 million over 2016’s $115.1 million. North Wasco County travel spending totaled $78.1 million (64%) and South Wasco County travel spending totaled $44.2 million.
Accommodation and food services dominated Wasco County’s travel generated employment trends, producing 1,210 jobs in 2017, about 64 percent of the 1,880 generated by travel spending across all industries. Travel spending in arts, entertainment, and recreation generated 510 jobs, followed by retail trade with 130. Travel spending in North Wasco County produced 1,180 jobs or about three out of 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 2016. According to the report, $63,633 in 2017 visitor spending supported one job in Wasco County.

Overnight visitors represented the biggest slice of travel spending, shelling out $81.1 million in 2017. Accommodations led all commodities purchased, capturing $39.1 million, followed by food service at $31.6 million. Together, accommodation and food services captured over 65 percent of Wasco County’s 2017 destination spending. Arts, entertainment and recreation captured $16.9 million in visitor spending (15.6%), followed by retail sales at $13.4 million (12.4%), and food stores at $10.8 million (10%).
Overnight visitors to Wasco County logged nearly 1.2 million person-nights in 2017. More than one out of 10 persons (12.2%) staying overnight in Wasco County during 2017 were visitors, not residents. Lincoln County led Oregon, with a ratio of nearly three overnight visitors for every 10 residents in 2017 (27.8%).
Overnight travelers spent about $149 in Wasco County per person, averaging $69 per day over a 2.1-night length of stay. Traveling parties averaged 2.7 persons, spending $188 per day or $393 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 $207 per Wasco County trip while staying 1.7 nights. Party size in the hotel, motel, and STVR group averaged 2.4 persons, spending $306 per day or $509 per trip.

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