The COVID-19 global pandemic put a sudden stop to the record growth of tourism to Washington County, according to the 2020 Economic Impact of Travel research report prepared by Dean Runyan Associates and commissioned by the Oregon Tourism Commission (dba Travel Oregon).

Visitation and Visitor Spending

In 2020, nearly 1.9 million travelers visited Washington County, a 42% decline over 2019. Of these visitors, 59% stayed in private homes (visiting friends and relatives), while 39% stayed in a hotel/motel or short-term rental such as Airbnb.  Less than 2% stayed in a campground or RV park.

Direct visitor spending in Washington County reached $462 million, a decline of 38% over 2019.

Tourism Employment

In 2020, 6,740 jobs in Washington County were generated by travel spending. These jobs are in the accommodation and food service industries, as well as retail, ground transportation, arts, entertainment and recreation. After a few years of sustained growth, this number decreased by nearly 2,000 jobs.

Tax Revenue

Total tax revenue—state and local—generated by travel spending  was more than $34 million, a 31% decrease over tourism-related tax collections in 2020.  

While the outlook for 2021 remains cautiously optimistic, we’ve already experiences growth in hotel performance and occupancy during the first seven months of 2021.  See hotel performance charts >>>

Read the complete Economic Impact of Travel, 2021p report here.