Sponsored by Energy Trust

Munich on the Willamette

| Print |  Email
Tuesday, July 01, 2008

PortlandRiverside1106


STATEWIDE Gunther Hoffmann knows at least one reason why German tourists are expected to flock to Oregon this summer: “Germans are entranced with the West and Indians,” says Hoffmann, head of the German Consulate in Portland.

The influx of Germans also is the result of a devalued dollar boosting the euro and aggressive marketing of Oregon in Europe as a premier tourist destination, say industry experts. German tour operators expect 400% growth in sales of Oregon travel packages, says Teresa O’Neil, director of sales and marketing at Travel Oregon, the state’s official tourism marketing organization. “We’re a bargain to them,” she says.

Germans are attracted to Oregon’s green initiatives, such as Portland’s mass transit system and TriMet line to the airport, and like Munich, Portland is internationally known for its beer. “We call it Munich on the Willamette,” O’Neil says. It also helps that Germans typically receive up to six weeks of vacation annually, Hoffmann says.

O’Neil also promotes Oregon at the annual March tourism convention in Berlin. She says one German tour agency she works with has seen a 160% increase in sales of Oregon tour packages. Lufthansa, the German-based airline that added a direct flight between PDX and Frankfurt five years ago, says the number of leisure travelers using the route is significantly up from this time last year. The airline doesn’t release exact figures.

Guest ranches in Oregon that are popular with Europeans, especially Germans, are seeing increased reservations for this summer. Eva Gill, part owner of Rock Springs Dude Ranch in Bend, says 21.5% of her booked clients this year are Europeans, a 13.5% increase from 2007. Long Hollow Ranch in Central Oregon says reservations are down, but one bright spot has been an increase in European clients.

German tourists are a windfall for local hotels, too.

At Portland-based Provenance Hotels, domestic business is down but international bookings are up 19% through April from the same time last year. Of that, 65% are Germans and Dutch, says chief operating officer Howard Jacobs. Speak German? If so, the hotels are hiring, Jacobs says.

The Heathman Hotel in Portland is seeing a similar trend. In response, the hotel has added more foreign language television stations, says general manager Chris Erickson.

“Right now Oregon has a blue light on top of it,” he says. “And it is shouting blue-light special.”                      

JASON SHUFFLER



To comment, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

More Articles

Justice for All

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Lawger upends the typical hourly based fee model by letting clients determine the cost.


Read more...

Fly Zone

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE

The black soldier fly’s larvae are among the most ravenous and least picky eaters on earth.


Read more...

Water World

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

Fred Ziari aims to feed the global population.


Read more...

Top 10 stories of 2014

The Latest
Thursday, December 18, 2014
10-listthumbBY LINDA BAKER

2014 was a year of wild contradictions, fast-paced growth and unexpected revelations.


Read more...

Corner Office: Timothy Mitchell

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

A look-in on the life of Norris & Stevens' president.


Read more...

Downtime

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Bob Dethlefs, CEO of Evanta, balances work and play.


Read more...

Reimagining education to solve Oregon's student debt and underemployment problems

News
Thursday, November 13, 2014
carsonstudentdept-thumbBY RYAN CARSON | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

How do we skill up our future technology workforce in a smart way to take advantage of these high-paying jobs? The answer shouldn’t focus only on helping people get a bachelor’s degree.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS