Travel

Travel Portland reports assess damage to urban tourism during pandemic

PORTLAND, Oregon. (KOIN) — As tourism to Rose City suffered during the pandemic, Travel Portland reports that the city has lost $5 billion in travel-related costs.

City center hotels typically generate more than two-thirds of hotel revenue in the city, but hotel bookings have been cut in half since 2019 and it could be years before the city is fully booked again.

Portland City Council member Mingus Mupps explained that “this has been a huge blow to our economy as well as BIPOC small businesses and communities that are at the forefront of our city’s hospitality industry.”

Housing tax revenue is a measure of this activity, which has fallen from nearly $7 million in 2019 to $1.7 million in 2021.

Travel Portland believes a full recovery may not take until 2024 at the earliest.

“When we asked potential visitors what comes to mind when they think of Portland, too often it was murder and homelessness. The damage done by COVID and the damage done to our reputation has destroyed our local hospitality industry,” Mapps said.

But there is some optimism about demand for hotels in the city center and in the Lloyd area. After a sharp drop in demand in 2020, there has been a significant increase in 2021.

Travel Portland President and CEO Geoff Miller explained that “revenue is coming back, we are still well down from 2019 due to the lack of rooms sold, but the recovery is really happening and we are excited about it.”

So far, revenue has returned 158% year-to-date by spring 2022, a faster pace than in the last two years.

Travel Portland reports that people are feeling better downtown than they were two years ago, as more people report finding the area attractive than in the last two years of the pandemic.

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