Travel spending in Jackson County sees big drop in 2020

MEDFORD, Ore.– Travel spending in Oregon dropped dramatically in 2020 new data shows.

According to the Oregon Tourism Commission, Oregon saw a 48.5% decrease in direct travel spending.

In Jackson County alone there was a 42% decrease in spending from 2019 to 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic contributed to much of this loss with people staying indoors.

However in 2021 Jackson County saw spending on par with 2019’s numbers with over $600 million being spent.

Travel Medford said the Rogue Valley was able to bounce back quickly thanks in part to Southern Oregon’s rural areas.

“We’re positioned really well and rural destinations in general across the country saw a recovery a lot quicker than more metropolitan areas,” Travel Medford spokesperson TJ Holmes said. “So Medford was able to be right in that sweet spot to safely have those outdoor spaces for people to be able to safely recreate.”

Holmes said the travel industry in Medford is continuing to grow.

As more hotels are expected to be built within the coming months coupled with the proximity of the airport and I-5, Travel Medford expects the boom in tourism to continue.

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NBC5 News reporter Zachary Larsen grew up in Surprise, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. At ASU, Zack interned at Arizona Sports 98.7FM and Softball America. During his Junior year, Zack joined the ASU Sports Bureau. He covered the Fiesta Bowl, the Phoenix Open and major basketball tournaments. Zack enjoys working out, creative writing, music, and rooting for his ASU Sun Devils.
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