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.”
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.”
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)
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.