OR - Oregon’s North Coast Bands Together to Manage Regional Tourism Impacts
Brand Story- Oregon’s North Coast — Astoria at the north end, Neskowin at the south end — is one of the most visited regions in the state.
Its close access to major urban areas makes it easy for most Oregonians and visitors to reach the beach in 90 minutes or less.
That’s just one of the reasons tourism has become one of the North Coast’s major industries. According to the Dean Runyan economic impact report developed for Travel Oregon each year, visitors in 2018 spent $580 million in Clatsop County, and $240 million in Tillamook County (the 2019 report will be available in May).
These two rural counties are dotted with small towns. Farms, forests, waterways, beaches and public lands make up a majority of the landscape. Tourism growth also brings challenges: Highway 101, for example, becomes easily congested as the region’s only north-south corridor. And the coast’s small towns become overcrowded, especially in peak tourism months of July and August.
“The North Coast is clearly entering a new part of its destination ‘life cycle,’” said Kristin Dahl, vice president of Destination Development for Travel Oregon. “Key to moving forward will be finding the right balance between the economic and social benefits of tourism, and the impacts that high visitation can have on traffic, local services, natural resources and quality of life.”