By Taxpayers Association of Oregon
A tourism report by Travel Portland found that people don’t want to—travel to Portland, that is, because they associate the city with homelessness, homicide, and civil unrest. The report shared with city commissioners noted that people planning conventions don’t want to spend their time and money in Portland because of its tarnished reputation for riots, homicide, homeless camps and other public safety issues. Because of group cancellations stemming from the pandemic, homeless, and downtown riots, tourism jobs in the metro area have dropped by 10,000 from 36,000 in 2019.
Restaurants and other businesses relying on tourism feel the pinch, according to Donald Kenney, part-owner of Spirit of 77.
The loss in convention business also coincides with Portland suffering an airport travel rate lower than the average metropolitan city compared to their pre-pandemic levels.