Cultural and heritage experiences are important factors in attracting travelers to visit Oregon. Once here, these cultural heritage travelers spend nearly 60 percent more than the national average for cultural heritage travelers.


Those are two of the findings in a recent study of cultural heritage travelers organized by the Oregon Heritage Commission. The Oregon Cultural Trust provided funds for the study, while Travel Oregon provided technical assistance.


“Cultural and heritage organizations have believed for many years that their work was important for their communities and for the tourism industry,” says Kyle Jansson, coordinator of the Oregon Heritage Commission. “This study proves that cultural heritage travelers spend hundreds of dollars for lodging, restaurants, transportation and other services, and that means jobs for Oregonians.”


The study, conducted by Mandala Research LLC, showed that Oregon’s cultural heritage travelers spend nearly 60 percent more per person than cultural heritage travelers do nationally. These travelers contributed an estimated $19.6 billion to the state economy on their most recent trip to the state, according to the study’s findings.


A cultural heritage traveler is defined as “a person who travels to experience the places, people, activities and things that authentically represent the past and present, including cultural, historic and natural resources.” This means they visit heritage sites, arts venues, state and national parks, beaches and other places also enjoyed by Oregonians.


A far higher percentage of Oregon travelers than those elsewhere said cultural heritage activities were important to their destination choice. They like to engage in a range of activities, including partaking in regional foods and wines, appreciating the authenticity of what Oregon has to offer.


The report concluded that it is important for Oregon to capture the past sense of place, and to weave this iconic place into the present and future. A complete copy of the report is available at


In addition, the Heritage Commission has created a Heritage Bulletin to assist organizations and communities in becoming more welcoming to the cultural heritage traveler. This publication can be viewed at