Looking to boost Oregon tourism this coming summer season, Travel Oregon has launched a $250,000 grant program to encourage “visitor experiences that are COVID-19 appropriate.”
The Destination Ready initiative targets six specific types of tourism experiences and “bike-friendly destinations” is one of them. The lead photograph on the program website shows several bike riders enjoying a stop in wine country while wearing masks. According to the project website, a host of cycling projects are eligible for grant funds. They include:
– Development (by contractor or local lead) of a curated set of bike routes for integration into tourism platforms and other apps/websites.
– Investments in bike hubs that may include racks, fix-it stations, signage, water, bathrooms, camping etc.
– Efforts to increase quantity of Bike Friendly Businesses in the destination.
Project awards can range from $10,000 to $50,000 and must be completed within six months of the grant contract being signed. The program is open to specific types of Oregon-based tourism promotion organizations, nonprofits and government entities.
State subsidy of bicycle tourism is nothing new for Travel Oregon. We first wrote about a statewide bicycle tourism conference in 2006. Among the many results of that effort was the Ride Oregon website and the “Bike Friendly Business” program. Travel Oregon staff have traveled to Washington DC as part of Oregon’s delegation at the National Bike Summit, the agency has commissioned a bicycle economic impact study, and in 2013 they convened a committee to develop gravel road routes.
As an aside, Travel Oregon’s current interim VP of destination development is none other than Scott Bricker. Bricker is a former advocacy director and executive director for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (now called The Street Trust).
For more on how to apply for this exciting new grant program, check out the official website.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and email@example.com
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