Curry County businesses and products are getting worldwide exposure, thanks to the latest state trade delegation to Asia.
Governor Kate Brown and a state trade delegation has returned to Oregon following a two week made mission in Japan and South Korea.
The Oregon Travel Commission, doing business as Travel Oregon, helps coordinate such trade missions. Linea Gagliano, Travel Oregon’s Director of Global Communications, said the Oregon delegation promoted the state’s agriculture and outdoor products, including such products from the Southwest Oregon Coast.
“On every trade mission Travel Oregon embarks on, we work to inspire travel to every corner of the state through tour operator and media outreach.,” she said. “Travel Oregon is focusing on outdoor recreation, finding wellness in the outdoors and culinary and agritourism, which are all strengths of the Southern Oregon Coast.”
Gagliano said the local benefits emerge following close connections with area businesses and that Travel Oregon inspires stories with local international media and works with tour operators to sell bookable trips to potential travelers to Oregon in an effort designed to promote this area.
“Most people in the Asia and European markets book their trips through tour operators and travel agents, so showcasing products from the Southern Oregon Coast is beneficial to the region, ensuring a healthy and robust diversified economy,” she said.
According to Gagliano, the trade mission highlighted the Oregon Food Trails initiative, promoting culinary sites and agritourism throughout the state, including Curry County.
“The Oregon Food Trails program aims to cultivate innovative partnerships between culinary and agricultural businesses, strengthen local food economies and create unique experiences for visitors and locals alike,” she said. “Program implementation gives communities a way to package and showcase their local farm, ranch, seafood and other agricultural assets, as well as local culinary businesses that feature locally sourced products.
Gagliano said the objectives of the Oregon Food Trails Program:
- Drive visitation to agricultural and culinary businesses in destinations that offer high-quality and locally sourced consumable products in a compelling way
- Deliver excellent visitor experiences by increasing business engagement and collaboration
- Inspire visitors to explore businesses that they might not find on their own
- Encourage visitors to stay in destinations longer, visit in shoulder seasons and consider repeat visitation
“We are specifically referencing and inspiring travel to the Southern Oregon Coast by highlighting the Wild Rivers Coast Food Trail,” she said.
- The Oregon Coast Visitors Association and the Eat Fresh and Local Action Teams from the Southern Oregon Coast and Wild Rivers Coast Tourism Studios launched the Wild Rivers Coast Food Trail in July 2018.
- Extending from Reedsport to Brookings, the Wild Rivers Coast Food Trail highlights the region’s berries, seafood and scenic landscapes. The 43 participating businesses include farms, farm-to-table restaurants, seafood establishments, markets, craft beverage makers and artisan producers.
Gagliano said tourism is an economic driver to the entire state, generating $12.3 billion in economic impact and employing more than 115,000 Oregonians.
“On the Southern Oregon Coast, that means an economic impact of $413 million with 5,400 locals directly employed in the industry,” she said. “In Curry County visitor spending in at $137.7 million with 2,110 people directly employed in the industry. In Coos County, that’s $275.8 million in spending, leading to 3,330 jobs for local residents.”
Curry County Commissioner Court Boice said South Korea and Japan are top trading partners for Oregon and such trade missions can be beneficial for Curry County.
“For the southern Oregon Coast, the biggest influence would be for promoting our cranberries,” Boice said. “Both cultures are reasonably affluent. I see a big future with golfing, along with our rivers. Both of those activities are attractive tourism activities for both countries.”