Media Room

REMARKS AS PREPARED


Travel Oregon Press Conference
October 10, 2017


Japan is the top inbound overseas tourism market to Oregon. Some 67,000 visitors from Japan contributed more than $92 million to our state’s economy last year.

Oregonians’ healthy lifestyles, sustainable farming, organic food, environmentally friendly wineries and craft breweries make Oregon an ideal destination for the Japanese visitor.

We’re thrilled to welcome a growing number of people from Japan to Portland. Portland offers a vibrant urban scene and world-renowned culinary reputation. The city is known to many as America’s epicenter for the award-winning food and exceptional beverages. After all, Oregon is proud to claim food icon James Beard as one of our native sons.

Portland’s renowned wines, craft beers, and fruit-forward ciders paired with our unique northwest cuisine drive Portland’s rich culinary landscape, and have helped make the city one of the most sought-after destinations in the U.S.

Portland has grown to great notoriety in Japan, thanks in part to the popularity of Popeye's Guide to Portland and Amazon’s top seller, True Portland by Teruo Kurosaki.

In Oregon, tax-free shopping is a major draw for Japanese visitors looking to shop at some of Oregon’s favorite stores, including Nike, Columbia Sportswear, Poler Outdoor Stuff, Danner Boots, and KEEN Footwear.

Oregon businesses like Stumptown Coffee, Keen, and Columbia Sportswear have even opened retail outlets in Japan. And department stores have created displays and fairs featuring Oregon products.

Travel Oregon works actively with Oregon’s Japan Representative Office to promote tourism, travel, and trade.

Our Global Sales staff also works with Delta airlines offices in Japan to identify opportunities in this market. Delta’s nonstop flight connecting Portland and Japan helps Portland and Oregon continue to promote growth and partnerships with Japan, keeping commerce moving in both directions.

We’re also looking forward to 2021, when Oregon hosts the IAAF World Track and Field Championships. The event will be hosted by the United States for the first time at historic Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus.

We’re working hard to make sure visitors from Japan have a great time at the games and have a wonderful experience in Oregon.

Oregon is the place for outdoor adventurers, urban explorers, and culinary enthusiasts. We are known for our award-winning, Willamette Valley pinot noirs, and boast the longest winter sports season in the United States-- with ten ski resorts between Mt. Hood and Mt. Bachelor in Central Oregon.

Oregon is the first and only state in the country with a Scenic Bikeways program. These picturesque routes are complete with the necessary amenities for bicyclists, and accommodate all levels of riders, from beginner to advanced.

What’s more, Oregon is the ideal destination for students. Many exchange programs and homestay programs are available throughout Oregon.

Willamette University’s 40-plus year partnership with Tokyo International University of America has brought thousands of Japanese students and faculty to its campus in Salem, and sent thousands more Willamette students and faculty to teach and learn in Japan.

I certainly hope that the business between our state and Japan continues to blossom, and that our relationships and cultural exchanges continue.

When we focus on developing personal relationships and cultivating mutual respect for and understanding of each other’s cultures, our economies will thrive together.