Message from Your President
As we all know, many of our valued members have lost their positions or been furloughed due to COVID-19. This has impacted all of us - industry veterans, DMO partners and members with small/large companies. We know that many of our members who have been furloughed or have seen their positions eliminated still care about promoting our beautiful state and each other. While they may be temporally sidelined from paying positions, some may want to stay involved and up to date on the happenings in our industry.
To keep us connected, OTTA has been holding monthly happy hours (some with educational components) and are working hard on developing programing around the "new normal" for our
fall in-person meeting
currently planned for November 2, 2020 in Ashland (with several safety measures in place). Additionally, we have created a Facebook group where members can support each other called:
Oregon Tourism Family
We are excited to announce that we have added a new category of membership, that of the Tourism Supporter, which is for industry individuals who are currently unemployed or unassociated with a business/service. The fee for this membership is $25. You can pay this membership fee
online through the OTTA website
. Please note that this membership type will not receive leads or an online profile.
Lastly, we have also created scholarships for those individuals who lost their memberships with their jobs, or our members who are still working, but whose company or DMO is no longer able to pay their dues. This scholarship, once approved by the OTTA board, will take the form of a complimentary membership and we will ask you to serve on a committee. Please see below for more information.
Thank you for all you are doing to keep Oregon strong.
Willamette Valley Vineyards
Like all tourism organizations, we are traversing some choppy waters. OTTA is offering scholarships to individuals who lost their memberships with their jobs, or our members who are still working, but whose company or DMO is no longer able to pay their dues. One of the requirements will be to volunteer on our committees: Organizational Development, Interactive Media, Social Media, Governance, Marketing, Membership or Education.
Members on a scholarship will not receive an online profile or leads. You may apply online starting today! Please give us 30 days to review your scholarship application.
OTTA August Virtual Happy Hour
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
4:00 - 6:00 pm
Please join us for the OTTA Virtual Happy Hour on Wednesday, August 12 at 4:00 pm. Please bring wine, beer, coffee or other drink of choice. Want to have fun with it? We encourage you to use a photo of your property or favorite Oregon destination as your Zoom Virtual Background. Learn how
. And just like any semi-casual gathering - you are welcome to drop in or leave as needed.
See you then with a glass in hand!
New OTTA Itinerary Released!
Oregon's Pentiful Gardens
Oregon is filled with world-class public gardens that will enchant gardeners and non-gardeners alike. We are able to grow a huge variety of plants, crops, flowers, trees and ornamental gardens. All are lovingly cared for by friendly Oregonians, ready to welcome visitors to their cities, towns, neighborhoods, businesses, farms and gardens. Check out some of the highlights from every region of the state in OTTA's new itinerary developed from our member brainstorming session last fall.
Member Profile: Gabi Duarte
Gabi grew up in Tualatin, Oregon with a Mexican father, white mother, look-a-like sister and brother with Down's Syndrome. They were VERY different from families around them, but those differences gave Gabi the strength and confidence she has today. Oregon born and raising her own 9-month old 2nd generation Oregonian with husband, Matt. She went to Oregon State University (Go BEAVS, always). Taking a break now, but she has coached high school, club and Special Olympics volleyball for about 8 years.
When asked about her involvement with OTTA she said, "my earliest involvement with OTTA began while working at Woodburn Company Stores (now Woodburn Premium) shorty after I graduated college in 2007. I took a break to work for a small family business and eventually made my way back to tourism and OTTA when joining Travel Oregon in 2014."
Lisa Itel was instrumental in Gabi's OTTA involvement. Before she arrived, Lisa had worked at Woodburn Company Stores as well and was happy to usher in new tourism talent. Gabi remembers working on committees, selling t-shirts and meeting some of the greatest industry folks that she is still friends with today.
Travel Oregon continues to support OTTA and its members because they understand the value of the work this organization does for the state and its members. According to Gabi, our state is so fortunate to have a volunteer tourism industry organization where we can learn, network and engage in opportunities to better ourselves, our industry and our businesses. "I have witnessed industry vets offer guidance to support to new members, watched members make new job connections and seen our state really show up at tourism tradeshows from the lessons they've learned at OTTA," Gabi said.
Gabi's favorite OTTA moment was taking the magical movie trolley ride through Astoria at the last member meeting. It was such a great FAM and a wonderful way to see the city. The weather was wild and we squished a lot of people into one tiny car, but it was such a great memory!
Lastly, our world has faced unprecedented challenges. Gabi reflected that we are living through a moment in history that will be revisited by future generations in textbooks and classrooms:
"They will decide if we made the right decisions or the wrong ones. If we were kind or hurtful. The weight of that feels heavy, but motivates me to do what I can to support our industry that has faced immeasurable suffering and, as the late Rep. John Lewis stated, make some "Good Trouble" anytime I see injustice in my community. I don't know many people who are truly enjoying this time right now, but I do know that my relationships with friends and family, be it masked-up in the backyard or over Zoom, have become more important than ever. I encourage everyone to stay connected with each other and to go make some Good Trouble."
Recap on OTTA Future of Group Travel in Oregon Webinar
On July 16, 2020, Oregon Tour & Travel Alliance (OTTA) hosted a webinar to
better inform Oregon tourism suppliers on the rapidly-changing group tour landscape across the U.S. The webinar featured a panel of travel trade experts, including Laurie Lincoln, President of Main Street Tours; Jamie McKinney-Fousek, Director of Global Sales and Marketing, America's Hub World Tours; and Bronwyn Wilson, IMG Coach to share how they are adapting and changing to better serve their clients and what Oregon suppliers can do to support those changes. Special thanks to Gabi Duarte from Travel Oregon for helping us organize the event.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Leading by Example: Lessons in Race and Racism -
U.S. Travel's National Chair Elliott L. Ferguson, II, president & CEO, Destination DC moderates an important conversation about race and diversity within the travel industry and how we can work toward a more inclusive environment. This candid discussion provides personal perspectives on current events, looking specifically at how leaders of all backgrounds can make meaningful changes in the workplace to promote racial equality at all levels and set an example for future leaders within the travel industry. Watch:
For additional learning and context, see videos below:
Lessons in Race and Racism: A Continued Discussion -
U.S. Travel Association National Chair and Destination DC President and CEO Elliott Ferguson and other industry leaders from the Black community continue the conversation around what we can do as an industry to develop and elevate diverse voices and move our industry - and our country - toward equality. It was guided by several prevalent themes and questions that surfaced during the "Leading by Example: Lessons in Race and Racism"
on June 11. Watch:
(from EOVA Industry Newsletter)
: EO Media Group has established a Community Marketing Grant Program to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19 restrictions in the markets served by the company's 12 newspapers, including The Observer, Baker City Herald, East Oregonian, Wallowa County Chieftain and Hermiston Herald, among others. Grants are available for a minimum of $250 and maximum of $10,000 in matching funds each month, and will be awarded between May 15 and July 31. Applications must be submitted online at
Grants will be reviewed and replied to within 1-2 days of application. For more information, contact your local EO Media Group publishing partner, The Observer or Baker City Herald, at 541-624-6008 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the National Endowment for the Arts' creative placemaking grants program: Our Town. Through project-based funding, we support projects that integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes. Successful Our Town projects ultimately lay the groundwork for systemic changes that sustain the integration of arts, culture, and design into local strategies for strengthening communities. These projects require a partnership between a local government entity and nonprofit organization, one of which must be a cultural organization; and should engage in partnership with other sectors (such as agriculture and food, economic development, education and youth, environment and energy, health, housing, public safety, transportation, and workforce development). Cost share/matching grants range from $25,000 to $150,000, with a minimum cost share/match equal to the grant amount. Deadline is August 6.
Click here for more information.