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City wins award from Travel Portland: Platinum ranking a draw for tourists

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on June 18th, 2009 at 11:44 am

Platinum Press Conference-17.jpg
Portland's Platinum award
is a draw for tourists.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Travel Portland has announced that they'll give the City of Portland their top tourism promotion award at their 30th annual Tourism and Hospitality Industry Awards Celebration being held next week at the Oregon Convention Center.

Travel Portland -- a private non-profit that works to promote the metro area as a destination -- will give the City the "Portland Award" for its work in "creating and sustaining a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Community.

According to Travel Portland, the award recognizes the, "top overall contribution to the region's visitor profile."

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So, I guess that means that in 2009, Travel Portland felt like our reputation as a bike mecca was the top reason people visited Portland. Wow, that's a great endorsement that I hope advocates pick up and run with.

In a press release about the award, Travel Portland writes that Portland's Platinum designation:

"...generated a landslide of positive media attention for both Portland and the region. In addition, it provided yet another reason for outdoors-minded travelers to choose Portland as a vacation destination."

Travel Portland's website lures would-be visitors
with on-street bike parking.

Travel Portland president and CEO Jeff Miller tells us that there's a growing tide of local hospitality businesses that are catering to the bike-oriented visitor. "We have hotels that offer bikes to guests, bike shops that rent all the necessary equipment, and bike tours that cater to riders of any experience level," he said. Miller also added that, "These elements, combined with our platinum rating - which gained the city lots of terrific media exposure - have really put Portland on the map as a biking destination."

In the past year or so, Travel Portland has not been shy about putting Portland's bike scene front and center in their marketing efforts. Some of their business cards prominently feature a locally made bike and I just noticed today that the front page of their website has a photo of a busy sidewalk cafe and on-street bike parking with the tagline "curbside parking available." (See image above)

National Bike Summit
Travel Portland's Veronica Rinard shakes
hands with Congressman Peter DeFazio
at the 2007 National Bike Summit.
(Bike Gallery owner Jay Graves
is in the middle).

Travel Portland has also devoted staff resources to the bike scene. Community Relations Director Veronica Rinard is a regular at bike events and meetings. She has also become an important lobbyist on behalf of biking in Portland as a member of the Oregon delegation at the National Bike Summit for the last three years.

Also receiving an award at the June 24th event will be Providence Bridge Pedal. Bridge Pedal, an organized ride that gets close to 20,000 participants, will receive one of three President's Awards recognizing its "valued contributions to Portland's visitor industry."

Tourism is an important piece of our local economy and it's great to see that bikes have played a major role in it. Add this to the very long list of why we should invest in bikeways, bike programs and the local bike industry.

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Comments
  • twistyaction June 18, 2009 at 11:57 am

    (self)Congratulations!

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  • the future June 18, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    that'd be a bummer if we lost out to seattle or another city on something called the 'travel portland award'.

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  • Alexis June 18, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Travel PORTLAND gave the PORTLAND award to PORTLAND?? Oh my god!!

    I, Alexis, hereby give the Alexis award to Alexis for outstanding passing of physics class.

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  • Scott E June 18, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    Travel Portland gave the /City of Portland/ (government) an award rather than, say, giving the award to OMSI or the Convention Center, or the Pearl district, or whatever other parts of Portland might be the biggest draw to the region. Specifically because of the efforts they've made for biking.

    So yes, it is notable.

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  • [...] here to see the original: BikePortland.org » Blog Archive » City wins Travel Portland award … Share and [...]

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  • jacque June 18, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    Now can somebody give the PBA a heads up? I've long felt that they bite the hand that feeds them- they come off as dinosaurs- and they just don't seem to get modern urban culture.

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  • huey lewis June 18, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    what jacque said...

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  • Cindy Jennings June 18, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    as a local small bike business owner I have to pay $475 a year just to put one pamphlet in the Travel Portland visitors center. For a non profit that thinks our local bike economy is worth so much, you think that they could offer a scholarship or work trade - They sure didn't care about my bike business when I asked them about that.

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  • Steve Bozz June 19, 2009 at 2:45 am

    Cindy-- is that regular practice at visitor centers?

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  • rouleur June 19, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Scott E (#4): understood, but it still sounds pretty self congratulatory. One would expect the City of Portland to be excluded as a candidate for this award. it's just one step down from Travel Portland awarding the Portland award to... Travel Portland! And if they receive any funding from the City of Portland, one could even see a conflict of interest.

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  • naomi June 19, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    haha what? Travel Portland awards Portland?!! GET OUTTA HERE!

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  • [...] View post:  BikePortland.org » Blog Archive » City wins award from Travel … [...]

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  • Lazy Spinner June 20, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Is it too late to nominate BikePortland.org for a BikePortland.org Award for best coverage of the Portland bike scene?

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  • yah ok June 21, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Bike mecca? Ha ha. Nobody is coming here for the mountain biking, that is for sure. Compare to Seattle, Bellingham, Van BC, Bend, Hood River, etc. Remind me again why there is no bike legal singletrack or bike parks in the city for people who love the dirt?

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  • Agarn June 23, 2009 at 12:40 am

    ...and reasonable bicycle access in Forest Park becomes even less likely. Well, legal access, anyhow.

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  • Deborah Wakefield June 23, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    Hi. In the spirit of full disclosure, let me begin by saying that I am a representative of Travel Portland. Since there seems to be some confusion about Travel Portland, I wanted to provide a little context. Travel Portland isn’t a city department, although we do work closely with the city. Travel Portland is a private nonprofit organization with close to 1,000 member businesses. So, the city isn’t giving itself an award; a private nonprofit is recognizing Portland’s achievement as the first major city in the United States to receive “Platinum Bicycle Friendly Community” certification.

    We do charge $475 a year for a standard visitor marketing partnership. The benefits of that partnership level include brochure space in the information center at Pioneer Courthouse Square, which serves more than half a million visitors per year; expanded listings on the Travel Portland website; and a subscription to our Partner Update e-newsletter. The partnership fees we charge help cover the cost of running the information center, as well as supporting the website and other programs for partners.

    Oh, and yes, we have previously given awards to the Oregon Convention Center (the year after its expansion), OMSI, the Rose Festival and lots of other great tourism draws. If you’ve got ideas for future honorees, please let us know. We’d love to receive your feedback. Thanks.

    Deborah Wakefield
    Vice President of Communications
    Travel Portland

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