Travel Portland report assesses hit to city tourism during pandemic

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – As tourism in the Rose City took a hit during the pandemic, Travel Portland reports the city lost $ 5 billion in travel related spending.

Downtown hotels usually bring in more than two-thirds the hotel revenue in the city, but hotel booking has dropped in half since 2019 and it could be years before the city is back to being fully booked.

Portland City Council member Mingus Mapps explained “that’s been a huge hit to our economy and that has been a huge hit to the small businesses and BIPOC communities that are on the front line of our city’s hospitality industry.”

Lodging tax revenue is a measure of that activity – dropping from a high of nearly $ 7 million in 2019 – down to $ 1.7 million in 2021.

Travel Portland thinks it could take until 2024 at the earliest to fully recover.

“When we asked potential visitors what came to mind when they thought about Portland, too often was homicides and homelessness. The damage done by COVID and the damage done by our reputation decimated our local hospitality industry, ”Mapps said.

But there is some optimism for hotel demand Downtown and in the Lloyd District. After demand dropped drastically in 2020, there was a substantial increase in 2021.

Travel Portland President and CEO Jeff Miller explained “revenue is coming back, we are still significantly below where we were for revenue in 2019 because of the lack of rooms sold, but recovery is indeed happening and we’re excited about that.”

To that point, revenue has come back 158% year to date for spring 2022 – a faster rate that tracked over the last two years.

Travel Portland reports people are feeling better about Downtown than two years ago as more people report finding the area appealing than during the last two years of the pandemic.

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