We often get questions about the importance of tourism to our local economy. We also get questions about who we are and why our role is so important. Here are our answers!
Q: What is Tourism and Why is it So Important to our Communities?
A: Travel and Tourism bring outside money into our economy when visitors from more than 50 miles away come to our communities for recreation, overnight stays, to visit friends and family, and to conduct business. This outside money adds to the economic vitality of our communities. See our latest Economic Impact Statement .
A: These monies are spent on lodging, dining, attractions, shopping and more. Proprietors of these businesses then spend those funds on payroll, buying goods and services, paying rent, and other such expenses. See this Chart for more on how tourist dollars are spread out around our communities.
Q: How much money are we talking about?
A: In real dollars, the Tourism sector is our third largest industry in Coos County. In 2019, visitors to Coos County spent more than $277 Million on accommodations, dining & groceries, arts, recreation, entertainment, shopping, and more. During the pandemic, this spending dropped by almost $100 Million, primarily in our retail and restaurant sectors, but also in our arts, recreation, and entertainment sector. Post-pandemic, in 2021, we saw a recovery of more than half the amount we lost, or $58 Million in visitor spending, and expect that in 2022 we will see our visitor spending close to the high we saw in 2019.
Q: What is the VCB?
A: The Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB) for Coos Bay, North Bend and Charleston is the designated Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) for our three communities. Our job is to bring tourists/visitors/travelers to our area, thereby bringing in that outside money to increase our area’s economic vitality.
Q: How does the VCB Bring Visitors to the area? Wouldn’t they come anyway?
A: Contrary to popular belief, visitors don’t just show up in a destination! Not without some encouragement - through a desire to experience what a destination has to offer - but for them to know and desire what a destination has to offer, they have to know about the destination! Through our advertising and marketing programs, the VCB builds that desire in visitors. Our marketing programs include showing off the beauty of our area, showing visitors enjoying our outdoor adventures, showing them dining in our wonderful restaurants and visiting our attractions, and promoting of our annual festivals and events. Our programs include advertising in print publications, on digital platforms provided by a variety of media, through social media, on billboards, and through our own branded materials such as our visitor guides and website.
Q: When was the VCB created and how is it Funded?
A: The VCB was created through an Intergovernmental Agreement between the cities of Coos Bay & North Bend in the late 1990s. In 2010, the Coquille Indian Tribe was added to the agreement and in 2022, Coos County was added when Coos County voters approved lodging tax in a prescribed area around Charleston. The Lodging Tax rate for our area is 9.5%. This is collected for overnight stays at lodging properties in the Coos Bay, North Bend, and Charleton area, as well as at the Coquille Indian Tribe properties of The Mill Casino * Hotel & RV Park. The VCB receives approximately 39% of all lodging taxes collected by our four funding partners to conduct our programs.
Q: How does the Coos Bay Visitor Information Center fit into all of this?
A: In 2018, the City of Coos Bay approached the VCB to bring Visitor Services under the umbrella of the VCB. As Visitor Services are an integral part of any destination marketing effort, bringing the Visitor Center under the VCB made organizational sense. The Visitor Center is managed by a staff member of the VCB and manned by a cadre of volunteers.
A: Oregon’s Adventure Coast is the Brand we use to market the Coos Bay, North Bend, and Charleston area. It speaks to the abundance of adventures to be found along our part of the Oregon Coast. Recently we added our community names to our brand to ensure visitors know we are promoting this specific part of the coast!
Do you have more questions that were not addressed here? Please email Janice Langlinais, Executive Director of the VCB, at janice@VisitOAC.com .