In Praise of Travel Portland

Wed, May 05, 2021 1:46 PM | Jill Palamountain (Administrator)

Submitted by Shannon Hiller-Webb, Host2Host representative on the Travel Portland Board, owner of Prosparus, and host in SW Portland. 

Travel Portland is a pre-eminent marketing DMMO (Destination Marketing Management Organization) that is nationally and internationally recognized for the impact of their innovative marketing.

This marketing is what brings "heads to beds" in Portland which is their sole mission. They do this by highlighting what makes us unique and doing so in targeted markets with informed metrics.

They book venue space to conferences near and far to drive bookings which STR's benefit an average of 20%. Beyond conferences, they are innovative in their approach to reaching targeted audiences that benefit hotels and STR's.

Travel Portland recently invested $10k in an Airbnb promotion and by doing so Airbnb increased their contribution to the promotion of Portland for a total investment of $25k.

Airbnb ran a Portland targeted campaign to sell neighborhoods to travelers and book the STR's in each neighborhood through their site. Airbnb has run these promotions in other cities throughout the world however, this was the first time a DMMO had ever invested in an Airbnb campaign EVER in the WORLD. See the Airbnb Press Release.

So, an initial $10k Airbnb promotion became a $25k promotion due to Travel Portland. Travel Portland would have invested more if Airbnb could have shared metrics due to requirements on how TP monies are spent.

In addition, there are dedicated links to STR sites on the new Travel Portland website and further promotions by neighborhood on their site such as Alberta Street District.

Finally, I want to recognize that while our industry has been hit hard by COVID, Travel Portland was truly hit hard as their primary source of income is taxation. I believe revenue was down 85%.

That said, I want to praise the leadership of Travel Portland who have saved for a rainy day, took early and aggressive measures to reduce staff significantly, preserve resources, changed tactics, pivoted and canceled promotions to run lean so that when Travelers are ready so are they to invite them back to Portland. 

TP will initially be doing a "Reputation Recovery" campaign to locals and travelers to invite people to re-engage with our city; bruises and all because we remain unique. They are storytellers and they do their jobs well. Most important, we are lucky to have them and I whole heartedly support the temporary City of Portland tax increase to see us all through the tricky bits.

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