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

The Human Factor

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY BRIAN LIBBY

Matt French opens up South Waterfront.


Read more...

LEED for weed

Linda Baker
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
012815-potcarbon-thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

What is the impact of the legal pot industry on carbon emissions?


Read more...

2015 100 Best companies announced

The Latest
Friday, February 27, 2015
IMG 0022cneditBY OB STAFF

The 100 Best list recognizes large, medium and small companies for excellence in work environment, management and communications, decision-making and trust, career development and learning, and benefits and compensation.


Read more...

Transportation Fairness Alliance holds demonstration in Pioneer Square

The Latest
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
IMG 3367BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Portland's cab companies urged city hall for consideration as officials weigh new rules for Uber and other ridesharing companies.


Read more...

7 industry trends of 2015

The Latest
Friday, January 09, 2015
covertrends15-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Industry groups identify top trends for 2015.


Read more...

10 quotes explaining crisis at Port of Portland

The Latest
Friday, February 20, 2015
022015 port portland OBM-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The ongoing labor disputes at the Port of Portland came to a head two weeks ago when Hanjin, the container port's largest client, notified its customers it would be ending its direct route to Oregon.


Read more...

Live, Work, Play: Amen Teter

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Catching up with Amen Teter, Portland-based global director of action sports for Octagon Olympics & Action sports talent agency.


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