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Washington County Visitors Association Annual Report/Executive Summary

DAVID HILL VINEYARDS & WINERY

+1 800 537 3149 | tualatinvalley.org


Washington County Visitors Association’s Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Annual Report

The Washington County Visitors Association

The county TLT rate of 9% is going into a tourism

(WCVA) is a not-for-profit, 501 C (6) destination

fund, as prescribed by Washington County’s tax

marketing organization that serves the region’s

code. The WCVA receives 2.33% countywide TLT.

tourism industry by actively promoting the county as a desirable destination to potential visitors

View the FY19-20 Audit at bit.ly/30eRao0

around the world. Established in 1983, the WCVA is funded solely by transient lodging taxes (TLT), which are collected from lodging guests who stay at hotels and vacation rentals throughout Washington County.

1


How the WCVA Is Funded The WCVA is funded solely by a portion of the county transient lodging taxes (TLT) collected by Washington County hotels, motels and short-term vacation rentals (i.e. Airbnb). The county TLT has been in existence since 1972. On July 1, 2006, the

Washington County 9% Transient Lodging Tax Distribution

tax rate within Washington County increased from 7% to 9%. In 2016, cities within Washington County started collecting city, or local, TLT.

Cities in Washington County

WCVA

2.5%

2.33%

Transient Lodging Taxes by Jurisdiction • Oregon (Statewide): 1.8%* • Washington County: 9.0% • Beaverton: 4% (eff. Oct. 1, 2016) • Hillsboro: 3% (eff. Aug. 17, 2017) • Tigard: 2.5% (eff. Sept. 8, 2017) • Forest Grove: 2.5% (eff/ Jan. 1, 2018)

Wingspan Event Center

• Tualatin: 2.5% (eff. May 1, 2018)

.67%

1%

• Sherwood: 3% (eff. Apr. 1, 2019)

*The statewide Oregon transient lodging tax,

which increased from 1 to 1.8% on July 1, 2016, was reduced to 1.5% July 1, 2020, as prescribed by Oregon State Statute.

Sources Washington County Transient Lodging Tax: co.washington.or.us/Support_Services/Finance/transient-room-tax.cfm Washington County Municipal Codes: library.municode.com/or/washington_county/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=TIT3REFI_CH3.08TRLOTA_3.08.175DIPR 2

Washington County Fair Complex

2.5% Washington County General Fund

What is 1%? TLT of 9% (less hotel management fee of 5%)=

1% based on the collected revenue:

For FY20 - $11,276,595

For FY20 - $1,252,955

For FY19 - $14,665,923

For FY19 - $1,629,547


The Impact of COVID-19 on Washington County’s Tourism Community

March 23, 2020

Governor Brown issues a statewide

The WCVA developed a Hotel Sustainability

stay-at-home order

Grant, which awarded 55 hotels/motels in Washington County a check for $10,000 to

June 1, 2020

Washington County is approved to move into During Fiscal Year 2019-2020 (FY19-20), the tourism industry worldwide was devastated by Coronavirus COVID-19. The following is a timeline of how this global pandemic directly affected Washington County and the WCVA’s marketing efforts. February 28, 2020

First Oregon case of COVID-19 reported in Washington County

Phase 1 of reopening

over 250 people will be canceled statewide

Governor Brown pauses Phase 2 reopening plans, aligns Washington and Clackamas Counties with Multnomah County, which has not yet entered Phase 1 September 30, 2020

Washington County remains in Phase 1

expenses during the crisis.

Chambers of Commerce in Washington County In July, the WCVA made available to Washington County’s chambers of commerce a grant totaling $152,000. Half of the funds were issued via the Regional Cooperative Tourism Program and administered by the WCVA. Grants were issued to chambers focused on COVID-19 relief to help them sustain chamber operations, as they relate to tourism business

Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis

March 12, 2020

WCVA paused all native, display and social digital

help pay for staff, mortgage, taxes and other

• COVID-19 Emergency Response Grant for June 12, 2020

March 11, 2020

Gov. Kate Brown announces all large gatherings

• Hotel Sustainability Grant

support and recovery. • Countywide Mask Distribution The WCVA partnered with Clean Water Services, who received a shipment of masks

The COVID-19

from FEMA’s COVID-19 relief funds, to help

pandemic hit the

distribute them to tourism-related businesses

March 15, 2020

hospitality and

in Washington County, including wineries and

Governor Kate Brown orders the shutdown

tourism industry

farmers markets. As of September 30, 2020,

of restaurants, bars (including wineries and

extremely hard, and

28,650 masks were distributed.

breweries), and caps gatherings at 50 people

the Washington

advertising and majority of its paid search ads

March 16, 2020

WCVA paused the remainder of its paid search ads (now 100% dark)

County hotel industry was affected by this unforeseen crisis. Loss of business, falling occupancy rates, decreasing rates and revenue led to unprecedented

March 18, 2020

layoffs and employee furloughs, as well as the

Non-essential businesses-including wineries-

temporary closures of some hotels. The following

temporarily close, gatherings of 25+ people are

is a sample of how the WCVA helped, and

banned; restaurants, and bars are restricted to

continues to help, Washington County businesses

takeout/delivery.

during the pandemic. 3


The table below represents the slow and steady decrease in hotel occupancy, revenue and demand since

COVID-19’s Impact on Washington County’s Hotel Industry

the start of the year. The first Oregon case was reported on 2/28/20, and Governor Kate Brown issued the state’s stay-at-home order on 3/23/20. Washington County, Oregon Hotel Occupancy, Revenue, Supply & Demand: January 2020 - June 2020 January 2020

During CY2019, Washington County’s hotel industry was showing signs of leveling; however, in the first six months of 2020, hotel performance

This Year

took a drastic dive with the emergence of a

Last Year

global pandemic.

February 2020

March 2020

April 2020

May 2020

June 2020

CYTD 2020

30.7

36.7

41.9

Occupancy (%) 56.1

63.5

40.7

23.9

57.2

63.8

70.7

73.8

72.2

82.6

70.1

-2.0

-0.5

-42.4

-67.6

-57.5

-55.5

-40.3

111.01

111.55

$106.11

$89.79

$86.62

$89.07

$101.91

111.64

116.13

$116.98

$121.72

$123.20

$133.98

$121.19

-0.6

-4.0

-9.3

-26.2

-29.7

-33.5

-15.9

$42,072,382

Percent Change

ADR (Average Daily Rate)

This Year Last Year Percent Change

Revenue

This Year Last Year Percent Change

$10,438,403 $10,700,374

$7,339,694

$3,465,220

$4,318,105

$5,450,651

$10,550,780

$11,051,250

$13,867,590

$14,773,743

$15,119,254

$18,204,718 $83,989,688

-1.1

-3.2

-47.1

-76.5

-72.9

-70.1

-49.9

Source: STR Destination Report, STR, Inc.

The following graph shows the downward trend and steep decline in hotel

The following graph illustrates the decline in the average daily rare (ADR)

occupancy, starting from February 1, 2020, when occupancy levels were

of a hotel room in Washington County.

flat compared to the same time in 2019.

70

60

60

This Year

Last Year

Source: STR Destination Report, STR, Inc.

4

FE B R U A RY

JU N E

20

M AY

30

20

A PR IL

30

M A R C H

50 40

FE B R U A RY

50 40

JU N E

80

70

M AY

90

80

A PR IL

90

M A R C H

Weekly ADR - February 11, 2020 to June 30, 2020

Weekly Occ (%) - February 11, 2020 to June 30, 2020

This Year

Last Year

Source: STR Destination Report, STR, Inc.


Washington County Tourism Impacts

Direct Travel Spending in Washington County CY2017-CY2019 2019 $749.8

Travel and tourism is one of the most important “export-oriented” industries in Oregon. The state’s multi-billion-dollar

2018

travel industry, represented by lodging

$720.7

establishments, restaurants, retail stores, gas stations and other businesses that sell products and services to travelers, is a

2017 $697.2

vital part of state and local economies.

In 2019, Washington County welcomed nearly 3.2 million visitors, which generated almost $750 million dollars and employed 8,760 people. Prior to COVID-19, the Washington County travel and tourism industry was experiencing 10 years of sustainable

Direct Travel Impacts to Washington County: Calendar Years 2017-2019

Direct Visitor Spending ($ = millions) Employment (Jobs) Local Tax Revenue ($ = millions)

incremental growth. Calendar year 2020

CY 2017

CY 2018

CY 2019

Change CY 18-19

$697.2

$720.7

$749.8

+4.0%

8,640

8,750

8,760

+0.9%

$16.8

$17.2

$18.1

+5.2%

(CY20) was on pace to exceed 2019, but

Source: Dean Runyan, Oregon Travel Impacts, May 2020

in March, the global tourism industry came to a halt, affecting the last quarter

Overnight Visitor Volume in Washington County: Calendar-Years 2017-2019

of the fiscal year.

Type of Accommodation All Overnight Hotel, Motel, STVR* Private Home Other Overnight

Total Visitor Volume CY 2017

CY 2018

CY 2019

Total Nights CY 2017

CY 2018

CY 2019

3,184,000 3,191,000 3,245,600 8,680,000 8,677,000 8,813,900 1,142,000

1,165,000

1,195,900 2,330,000 2,377,000 2,440,300

1,995,000 1,979,000 2,001,400 6,188,000 6,137,000 6,207,200 47,000

*STVR = Short-Term Vacation Rental (i.e. Airbnb)

47,000

48,300

162,000

163,000

166,400

Source: Dean Runyan, Oregon Travel Impacts, May 2020

5


Marketing the Destination

The Washington County Visitors Association’s

media relations, and publication of visitor materials.

integrated marketing efforts include a broad mix

The primary objective of the WCVA’s marketing

of tactics: Advertising (digital and print), social

efforts is to increase awareness of and visitation to

media (paid and organic), public relations and

Washington County/Tualatin Valley

Website Performance Since 2017, the WCVA has actively marketed Washington County as “Tualatin Valley.” One of the WCVA’s primary marketing vehicles is the website, tualatinvalley.org. During FY19-20, the website had more than 2.3 million unique visits, a nearly 9% increase over the previous year.

Total Website Visitation FY19-20 vs. FY18-19 500,000

2,313,636

400,000

Unique Users

300,000

100,000

2,616,200

Source: Google Analytics

FY18-19

JU N E

M AY

A PR IL

M A R C H

O C TO B ER N O V EM B ER D EC EM B ER

SE PT EM B ER

3,157,347 Total Pages Viewed

JA N U A RY FE B R U A RY

0

A U G U ST

Total Sessions

200,000

JU LY

Total Users

2,334,958

FY19-20

Source: Google Analytics

6


Digital Advertising During FY2019-20, the WCVA continued working

Year-End Digital Advertising Performance

with digital marketing agency, Levelwing, to craft, monitor and buy advertising placements in the digital space. The WCVA’s digital marketing strategy included display ads, paid search, social media and native advertising. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 crisis, all native, display and social digital advertising was paused effective March 12th, and paid search was paused, effective March 16th

Paid Channel Display Paid Social Paid Search

TOTAL

Advertising Spend*

Total Website Sessions

Total Unique Website Users

Cost per Unique User

Conversions

Cost Per Conversion

$369,315

2,007,390

1,790,160

$0.18

224,316

$1.65

$210,581

329,496

291,659

$0.64

29,953

$7.03

$110,141

66,980

58,297

$1.64

29,015

$3.80

$690,037

2,403,866

2,140,116

$2.46

283,284

$2.44

for the remainder of the fiscal year. The chart illustrates the WCVA’s digital marketing efforts for FY19-20.

Public Relations/Media Relations During FY19-20, the WCVA retained local public relations agency Lawrence PR to help the WCVA reach its goals and augment the WCVA’s PR efforts. PR agencies bring tools that are essential to successful PR efforts and provides unbiased, objective advice, which helps guide the WCVA's media relations efforts. The agency’s contributions this fiscal year include: • Identified key messages and trends and regularly pitched story ideas to more than 100 travel, wine and outdoor media • Executed targeted public relations campaigns to generate more than 100 articles

• Identified and selected media for familiarization

Media outreach efforts also included familiarization

tours and deskside media tours and arranged the

tours for visiting writers. The WCVA hosted 16

Seattle deskside tour for WCVA staff in February

travel and wine writers—10 domestic writers and 6

The WCVA’s PR efforts included attending trade shows, media missions and deskside meetings with key media. During this outreach, the WCVA met with 98 travel writers. • Society of American Travel Writers Annual Convention – El Paso, TX (October 20-23, 2019)

international writers--during the fiscal year, which resulted in several articles about Tualatin Valley in various outlets. Spring traditionally is a busy time for media familiarization tours; however, due to COVID-19, the governor’s “stay home” order and the temporary closures of restaurants, wineries and other tourism-related attractions, the WCVA ceased hosting travel writers starting at the end of March

• International Media Marketplace (IMM) – New

and throughout the remainder of the fiscal year.

York, NY (January 22-23, 2020) For more information about the WCVA’s PR efforts • Seattle Deskside Media Tour – Tacoma, Kirkland and Seattle, WA (February 10-14, 2020)

and a list of media results, please see the FY19-20 Annual Report.

• Canada Media Mission – Toronto, ON and Vancouver, BC (February 26-28, 2020) 7


Tourism Sales Efforts

Domestic Travel Trade Shows As part of the overall sales strategy, the WCVA attends trade shows throughout the country

Selling the Destination The Washington County Visitors Association’s tourism sales efforts include a variety of

to bring awareness of Tualatin Valley to tour

During FY19-20, the WCVA attended

companies and the group tour and travel industry

fewer shows than were planned, as the

• Receptive Tour Operator (RTO) Summit - West

unexpected COVID-19 pandemic halted

(February 25-26, 2020)

markets, and are focused on growing demand for the destination and driving overnight stays in

the WCVA’s sales efforts. Most trade shows that were to be held during the second half

International Trade Shows and Sales Missions

of the fiscal year postponed or canceled.

Trade Shows & Sales Missions

Tour companies and travel agents, especially

• 2020 Active America China – CANCELED

Each year, the WCVA attends tourism trade shows

to the U.S., provide a level of experience and

and sales missions, which provides the opportunity

expertise for leisure travelers who seek vacation

for representatives to meet face-to-face with

guidance and direction. (All of the following trade

consumers, tour operators and travel agents.

shows and missions were funded via the RCTP

These shows not only increase awareness of the

program.)

paid accommodations.

destination, but also fosters relationships between the WCVA and those who help sell destinations to the traveling public.

• Travel Oregon French Sales Mission (August 31-September 7, 2019)

North American Consumer Shows

• WTM London (November 2-6, 2019)

Each year, the WCVA attends two annual North

• Michelin Portland Green Guide Launch

American consumer shows to market Tualatin

(November 7-9, 2019)

Valley directly to the traveling public. These shows allow the representatives to showcase the destination and its outdoor recreation assets directly to consumers. • Vancouver Outdoor Adventure Show (February 29 – March 1, 2020) • Seattle Bike Show (March 7, 2020) The second

Domestic Shows

those who specialize in international travel

• German Sales Mission (October 28-31, 2019)

8

COVID-19’s Effect on the WCVA’s Sales Efforts

Working with Asian Markets: In-Country Representation At the beginning of the fiscal year, the WCVA contracted with two in-market agencies in Asia, AVIAREPS China and AVIAREPS Japan, and actively participated in several trade shows and

day of the Seattle Bike Show was canceled due

sales missions. This section is an overview of the

to COVID-19.

WCVA’s international sales efforts.

• 2020 International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) – CANCELED • IPW 2020 – CANCELED • Go West Summit 2020 – POSTPONED to September 2020

International Shows • 2020 Brand USA Japan Sales Mission – CANCELED • 2020 Brand USA China Sales Mission – CANCELED


Japan

- Arranged 2 media familiarization tours for

While Japan and China are both vital

Portland-based Japanese writers to visit and

components of inbound international travel to

write feature articles about Tualatin Valley

Tualatin Valley, cultural and language barriers

and secured 3 articles in Japanese

create challenges for US-based organizations to

publications/outlets

successfully conduct business in these markets. In order to alleviate these challenges and grow

China

Tualatin Valley’s presence in each market, the

The Chinese inbound traveler is another

WCVA contracted with AVIAREPS to represent

important component of Tualatin Valley’s inbound

Tualatin Valley in Japan and China during the

international travel. Just as in Japan, cultural and

fiscal year. Travel from Japan was affected by the

language barriers post challenges to the WCVA’s

COVID-19 pandemic, as direct flights from Tokyo

sales efforts in country. The WCVA continued to

to Portland were canceled in March.

contract with AVIAREPS in China during the fiscal year; however, efforts were affected by the COVID-

FY19-20 Highlights

19 pandemic, which in its early days included a travel ban of visitors to the U.S. from China.

• SALES: - Conducted travel trade presentations and

The WCVA contracted with AVIAREPS China for

one-on-one travel trade business meetings

six months. In July 2020, the WCVA paused its

throughout the fiscal at the Brand USA sales missions and webinars - Held an in-house seminar with H.I.S.

Pictured, left to right, Mr. Kenta Ishida, group leader of the Japan Travel Bureau (JTB) and Steve Vuylsteke, president of SakéOne

International Tours with Travel Portland and Travel Oregon - Arranged a tour operator familiarization trip for Mr. Kenta Ishisa of JTB in Tualatin Valley, resulting in the addition of Tualatin Valley (Washington

- Built relationships and met with stakeholders in Japan throughout the fiscal year as an introduction and to exchange information, develop business relationships and seek/expand promotional opportunities

contractual relationship with AVIAREPS China. The following are highlights of the work they did on the WCVA’s behalf: • SALES: - Prepared a Tualatin Valley presentation in Chinese and held online and offline seminars to nearly 1,400 tour operators and consumers - Provided destination training to 7 travel and tour agencies

County) product in a tour of the

• PR/MEDIA:

U.S. West Coast

- Set up a Japanese Facebook page as a test

- Made a total of 20 sales calls; trained 80 travel

product, which, by end of the fiscal year, the

agents and provided online training to

page had 78 likes

480 agents

Japan travel agent training and direct-to-

- Pitched story ideas to 9 travel writers in Japan

• PR/MEDIA:

consumer presentations

- Pitched story ideas to 11 Chinese media

- Planned and created a Tualatin Valley PowerPoint presentation and trainings for

and Portland-based writers

9


Destination Development Grants • Salmonberry Trail Foundation: $175,000

• Friends of Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge:

and teen workshops. The Broadway Rose

The WCVA continues to support the Salmonberry

$30,000 to provide access to all at the new

Theatre Company is expanding and improving

Trail, an 84-mile rail-to-trail project connecting

Wapato Lake National Wildlife Refuge

their current facility, known as The New Stage,

the Tualatin Valley to the Oregon Coast. The

Wapato Lake was designated a National Wildlife

which will create a new studio space to support

WCVA, along with Tillamook County, awarded a

Refuge in 2013 and is finally slated to open to the

artistic development, education programs and

combined total of $350,000 toward the master

public in September 2020. Funds from this grant

community partnerships. Additionally, a new

planning of the 18.6-mile canyon segment and

would support the hiking trail, specifically the

on-site costume shop and enlarged scenic shop

the 15.3-mile river segment of the Salmonberry

.9-mile portion of the trail between the two new

will bring their creative teams and resources

Trail.

bridges on the north end of the lake.

under one roof.

• Patricia Reser Center for the Arts: $630,000

• Broadway Rose Theatre Company: $100,000 for

The WCVA granted funds toward the

building expansion

construction of Beaverton’s first performing arts

In 2018, Broadway Rose reached 90% capacity

venue. Last fiscal year, and with approval from

for its six main stage shows, youth drama camps

the WCVA’s Board of Directors, $500,000 was pledged to the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts. In addition to the WCVA grant, the Portland Region granted $130,000 toward construction of the center via the Regional Cooperative Tourism Program (RCTP), which was facilitated by the WCVA.

Capital Grants Awarded The Washington County Visitors Association’s Capital Grant Program supports capital projects the WCVA Board of Directors believes have extraordinary merit and will positively impact and increase overnight visitation to Washington County. In addition to projects that result in overnight stays in Washington County paid accommodations, the WCVA also seeks projects that serve unmet visitor needs or expands and/or improves visitor-focused businesses. 10

BROADWAY ROSE THEATRE COMPANY


Small Grants Awarded

• North Willamette Vintners’ Spring Wine Tasting Weekend: $7,500 (Event Canceled)

In addition to the destination development

• SakéOne Pacific Rim Festival: $7,500 (Event Canceled)

grants, the WCVA created a pilot small grants non-capital projects. During the fiscal year, the

• Sherwood Chamber of Commerce’s 30th Anniversary of Cruisin’ Sherwood Classic & Custom Car show: $7,500 (Event Postponed to 2021)

following awards were granted. Unfortunately,

• Tualatin Hills Park & Recreations District (THPRD) Regional Pickleball Tournament: $2,575

program, to award funds for events and other

due to the COVID-19 pandemic, several events that were awarded grants were canceled. The WCVA board of directors will honor these grants during the FY20-22 biennium.

• City of Forest Grove and Forest Grove/Cornelius Chamber of Commerce Harvest Weekend: $7,500 (Event Canceled) • City of North Plains’ Cycle North Plains Map & Itinerary Development: $1,000

PATRICIA RESER CENTER FOR THE ARTS

TUALATIN RIVER NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE 11


BLOCK: HOVERING HAWKS SIMPSON CENTURY FARM

WCVA Board of Directors (as of July 1, 2020) K.L. Wombacher, Hillsboro Hops (Board Chair) Dan Murphy, Broadway Rose Theatre Company (Immediate Past Chair) Tracy Reynolds, Courtyard Portland-Beaverton (Secretary) Darren Harmon, Bullwinkle’s Entertainment (Treasurer) Les Davis, Lithtex (Executive Committee) Deanna Palm, Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce Charlie Sitton, Century Hotel and Hayden’s Grill Shalini Patel, Best Western Forest Grove Commissioner Kathryn Harrington, Washington County Board Chair Mayor Peter Truax, City of Forest Grove Laurine Apolloni, Apolloni Vineyards

WCVA Staff Carolyn E. McCormick, President & CEO Jason McGill, Chief Financial Officer Sylke Neal-Finnegan, Vice President of Marketing & Communications Christopher Glawe, Senior Graphic Designer Kailee Van Dyke, Marketing and Administrative Assistant Chelsea Wicks, Social Media and Website Specialist 12


Washington County Visitors Association 12725 SW Millikan Way, Suite 210 Beaverton, OR 97005 U.S.A.

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FY19-20 Executive Summary  

FY19-20 Executive Summary  

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