It’s different here in Oregon, and the world is noticing. As the region’s population has flourished, so has its tourism industry. In 2015, Eugene, Oregon was selected as the host of the 2021 World Athletics Championships, the first time this event will be held in the United States. In recognition of this momentous opportunity and its potential economic impact, the state legislature entrusted Travel Oregon — a semi-independent agency created to strengthen the economic impacts of the state’s tourism industry — with additional tax funding to expand and enhance its efforts.
A Bend in the Road
The Oregon Tourism Commission knows the value of its work: Every $1 invested in Travel Oregon campaigns generates $237 in visitor spending and $11 in tax revenue. But creating a new vision for the growing organization would be no small feat.
Travel Oregon approached Coraggio for help in evaluating the industry’s challenges and opportunities. The group needed to meet the needs of diverse stakeholders, from hotel owners in the Painted Hills to ODOT officials paving I-5. Equally important was the need to make Travel Oregon not just an effective organization, but one to admire as a place of employment.
The View From Mt. Hood
Coraggio and Travel Oregon worked collaboratively to create an inclusive strategic planning process. Our team spent the next year capturing the voices of stakeholders and experts representing every possible angle:
We launched engagement surveys, facilitated visioning sessions, led interactive panel sessions and hosted regional town halls in 22 locations across the state. The data we collected and the stories we heard gave us a richer, clearer view of Oregonians’ needs.
Exploring the Gorge
Without the energy of the managers leading the campaigns and the support of the assistants arranging local events, any plan would fall flat. We opened up the planning process to Travel Oregon staff members and gathered their ideas, opinions and experiences, all the while keeping them informed of the big picture. We effectively challenged each and every member of Travel Oregon’s staff to step outside of their day-to-day work and think strategically across the organization’s mission.
The engagement process culminated in a summit that brought stakeholders and employees together to envision the future of Oregon travel and tourism. Peer work groups discussed key themes and insights, and participants seized the opportunity to build new relationships and contribute. Insights from this summit informed the creation of the strategic initiatives and action steps for the strategic plan. Together, we created a unified vision for the future.
She Flies with her own Wings
The resulting plan, “Activating Explorers,” contained 20 pages of innovative and impactful strategies—all inspired by people from across the industry. With an engaged team and an informed roadmap, Travel Oregon was ready to fly with its own wings.
“ Coraggio Group blew us away with their thorough, personalized, dynamic approach. They guided us through the construction of alternative scenarios, including feedback loops with our entire team, to insure we were evolving our organization in a market driven, future-focused direction. ”
— Todd Davidson, CEO
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