TO GovCon award winners March11 1280w

Oregon Coast Visitors Association Recognized for Partnership & Sustainability Leadership at the 2024 Oregon Governor’s Conference

On Monday, March 11, 2024, the Oregon Tourism Commission (dba Travel Oregon) hosted the 2024 Oregon Governor’s Conference on Tourism at the Salem Convention Center. More than 500 tourism industry professionals gathered for the event to share learnings and align to ensure not only the delivery of exceptional visitor experiences, but that tourism improves quality of life for residents, advances equity, respects the diversity of ecosystems, cultures and places of Oregon and strengthens economic resilience for communities around the state. Hosted by Travel Oregon in partnership with Travel Salem and Willamette Valley Visitors Association, this year’s theme, “Stewarding Oregon’s Future,” calls upon attendees to collectively shape a sustainable visitor economy.

The Oregon Coast Visitors Association (OCVA)’s entire staff attended this year’s conference and engaged in conversations about the future of tourism on the Oregon Coast. OCVA Deputy Director Arica Sears presented on accessibility initiatives on the coast, and led a breakout session along with Finn Johnson, North Coast Destination Management Coordinator, on Strategies for Climate Resilience in Destination Management, which delved into how responsible tourism goes beyond singular issues and connects to accessibility, inclusivity, climate and well being. 

2023 Oregon Travel and Tourism Industry Achievement Awards

OCVA is also proud to have had two staff members honored with 2023 Oregon Travel and Tourism Industry Achievement Awards.

Dave Lacey, South Coast Destination Coordinator, was honored for the Partnership Award for his work with Travel Southern Oregon Coast. 

The Partnership Award recognizes that creative partnerships can be an effective way to enhance the visitor experience and promote a region or destination. By leveraging traditional and non-traditional partnerships, organizations and businesses can maximize budget, capacity and skill sets to create an increase in efficiencies and a higher-level aligned outcome. In 2023, Travel Southern Oregon Coast (TSOC) did exactly this during their year-long promotional campaign aimed at raising awareness for Whiskey Run Trails. By bringing together mountain bike influencers, media and passionate riders from across the Pacific Northwest and Northern California, the campaign was a collaborative effort between tourism, cycling and private business partners who rallied around promoting Whiskey Run as the Oregon Coast’s most epic mountain bike (MTB) system.

Finn Johnson, North Coast Destination Management Coordinator, received an Oregon Rising Star Award for his work on the OCVA carbon emissions calculator and North Coast transit plan. 

Finn has just completed his first year in Oregon’s tourism industry. In that short time, he helped create and launch a Travel Impact Calculator to measure emissions and suggest ways for travelers to offset the impact of their travel to the coast. He helped create the North Coast Transit plan to lower carbon emissions from day trippers and reduce traffic and parking congestion; connected communities like Gold Beach and Port Orford to major capital for electric vehicle (EV) charging development; and co-wrote a $500,000 federal grant for a transportation feasibility report that could provide equitable and low carbon transportation options for visitors, coastal residents and workforce.

OCVA congratulates Dave and Finn’s accomplishments, as well as all the partners who worked on and continue to collaborate on these projects. Together, we can continue to build a future where tourism enriches Oregon’s communities, environment, and visitor experiences.

Travel Oregon’s full list of statewide award winners can be viewed here. 

Oregon Coast Visitors Association

The Oregon Coast Visitors Association (OCVA) is the official Regional Destination Management Organization for the entire Oregon Coast as designated by the Oregon Tourism Commission (dba Travel Oregon). OCVA inspires travel and strengthens collaboration to create and steward a sustainable coastal economy.

OCVA has the honor of working with coastal communities to align partnerships, destination development projects, and destination marketing with the vision of creating “a coastal utopia for all.” This includes coastal stakeholders, new and returning visitors, and the natural resources that make these coveted experiences so magical.