Central Oregon :

International Association of Golf Tour Operators North American Convention

Travel Oregon and Central Oregon had invested four years before developing a relationship with the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) designed to secure their annual conference for Oregon – the North American Convention (NAC). This goal was successfully achieved in 2016, when Sunriver, OR, and Sunriver Resort was selected as the Host Site for IAGTO – NAC 2018. Regional Cooperative Tourism Program funds were utilized for this valuable opportunity to host the world-renowned conference, held for the first time in the Pacific Northwest.

Goals

Our international visitors are known to stay longer and spend more money while in our communities. In addition, the international traveler is a key target for non-peak travel and rural exploration and adventure.

Events like IAGTO NAC leverage Central Oregon’s Global Sales efforts towards lead generation, catalog product placement and increasing international visitation into the region through one-on-one appointments and speed dating between operators and suppliers, along with networking events.

Outcome

IAGTO NAC welcomed 381 delegates, including golf tour operators/ Buyers from 25 countries from around the world, June 24-27, 2018. The event presented the valuable opportunity to showcase Oregon as an international golf destination, however, golf is not the only US travel that this audience is selling. The diversity of Oregon’s travel products is also attractive to these Buyers and were additionally showcased during pre- and post-NAC familiarization tours in Central Oregon, Oregon Coast and Portland.

Additionally, through a very generous Oregon Wine Country Plates Matching Grant, and a massive collaborative effort by Travel Oregon, Visit Central Oregon and Oregon's six other partnering RDMO's, the entire state hosted the "Taste of Oregon" Opening Reception, highlighting Oregon’s unique wine and culinary culture as a special component to NAC’s Opening event. IAGTO NAC attendees experienced the diverse flavors of Oregon through featured wines and culinary tastes from every region throughout the state; meanwhile enjoying the majestic views of snow-capped Mt. Bachelor from Sunriver Resort’s stunning “Backyard.”

>800 Room Nights
$81,000 Projected Revenue (Lodging and Golf Only)
>850 Golf Rounds

Results

Through attendee testimonial, we know that those who had not experienced Oregon before were overwhelmingly amazed at the caliber and value of Central Oregon’s golf product, diverse landscape, outdoor recreation and casually sophisticated dining. They would not have had the opportunity to know Oregon as an international golf destination, had IAGTO NAC not been held at Sunriver Resort in Central Oregon.

From this, we are excited by the new booking activity we are seeing since IAGTO NAC was held in Sunriver, OR. We know from Visit Central Oregon's Golf Concierge bookings, and through surveying the region's attending supplier properties to the 2018 event held in Sunriver that lodging and golf bookings from IAGTO to date have resulted in more than 800 room nights, more than 850 golf rounds, and nearly $81,000 in projected revenue (lodging and golf only - not including any other ancillary revenue).

Moving Forward

It is well-known that efforts to show impact and growth in Global Sales is gradual and a longer-term commitment and Visit Central Oregon will continue to build on the momentum from IAGTO NAC with continued engagement at the annual conference in the next biennium. Joined by a growing delegation of Central Oregon and other state-wide suppliers, we will continue to work towards increased international visitor spending year-over-year, continued growth and expansion of regional product in tour operator catalogs, and sustainability of commercial air service levels and expanded air service development via Redmond Municipal Airport (RDM).

The collaborative efforts from 2018 IAGTO NAC will also continue to serve as a model for future statewide Global Sales efforts. The overall cost, along with the overall staff time that was necessary to manage all the moving parts of IAGTO NAC and the “Taste of Oregon" project was heavily challenged by both Visit Central Oregon and Travel Oregon Global Sales. The additional financial support from the Wine Country Plates Matching Grant, the additional staff support from Travel Oregon Industry Services, along with procured cash and in-kind sponsorships, donated product, collaboration with RDMO's and support from industry partners statewide was integral for making IAGTO NAC the successful, global event that resulted.

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