In recognition of Oregon's importance as a wine-touring destination, the third annual Wine Tourism Conference will be held Nov. 14-15, 2013 at the Doubletree Hotel in Portland, Ore. The meeting, organized by Zephyr Tours, attracts wine and travel industry executives from around the U.S. and the world. The Oregon Wine Board and Travel Oregon were instrumental in Zephyr Tours' decision to select Oregon as the 2013 location. Previous conferences were held in Napa and Sonoma, Calif.
In just 50 years, Oregon has evolved into a world-class wine growing state with 463 wineries producing wines from 72 different grape varieties. With hundreds of tasting rooms throughout the state, wine tourism is a significant economic driver and distinctive draw for the state.
"Oregon's wine community was founded by independent thinkers who planted Pinot noir grapes where many luminaries said it would not grow. We are thankful to those pioneers for their vision and determination," said Travel Oregon CEO Todd Davidson. "Today, Oregon is one of the top wine-producing regions in the world, drawing aficionados to our scenic regions and top-notch tasting rooms. With the conference in Oregon, many of our travel and wine industry partners will be there to share best practices and generate new ideas for attracting visitors to local tasting rooms, hotels, restaurants and attractions."
Wine-related tourism contributed $158.5 million in revenues to the Oregon economy, according to a 2010 report from the Oregon Wine Board.
"Wine is a significant destination driver," said Tom Danowski, Oregon Wine Board executive director. "Wine tourists are responsible for a substantial portion of direct-to-consumer sales and contribute greatly to the state's economy. The Wine Tourism Conference is an opportunity for representatives from wineries of all sizes to immerse themselves in two full days of networking and education while sharing the sense of place found in every bottle of Oregon wine."
In addition to visiting Portland during the session, attendees will have the option to sign up for pre-conference and post-conference experiences in Oregon wine country. Excursions to the southern Willamette Valley with a dinner and tour at King Estate (Oregon's largest winery) and a tour of the northern Willamette Valley are slated.
About the Oregon Wine Board
The Oregon Wine Board is a semi-independent Oregon state agency managing marketing, research and education initiatives that support and advance the Oregon wine and wine grape industry. The Board works on behalf of all Oregon wineries and independent growers throughout the state's diverse winegrowing regions. The Oregon wine grape and wine industry contributes more than $2.7 billion in economic activity to the state economy each year, including more than 13,518 wine-related jobs and $382 million in wages.
About Travel Oregon
The Oregon Tourism Commission, dba Travel Oregon, works to enhance visitors' experience by providing information, resources and trip planning tools that inspire travel and consistently convey the exceptional quality of Oregon. The commission aims to improve Oregonians' quality of life by strengthening economic impacts of the state's $8.8 billion tourism industry. www.TravelOregon.com