EQUINE SPORTS TOURISM
Starting out as a tourism initiative has allowed us to expand on this feature considerably in the past few years. Equine events have not previously been recognized throughout Oregon as a tourism attraction or as a sport.
We have been taking an active role in educating state, regional, and county visitor bureaus and tourism agencies on the value of equine events.
When OHC staff studied one series of hunter/jumper shows in Wilsonville and discovered that 6 shows (lasting 4 days each over 6 separate weeks of summer) had a $1.8 million dollar economic impact on the community!
We have also been representing the equine industry on a new statewide sports marketing committee (the Oregon Sports Marketing Coalition lead by the Oregon Sports Authority) which is utilizing cooperative marketing dollars to draw new events to Oregon from across the country.
OHC also has plans to create a statewide equine facility survey that will provide us with useful information on every venue that an equine related event could be hosted at. This will include smaller barns that could host a clinic to the largest of expos that could bring in national breed shows. Once complete, we will compile the information and launch a marketing campaign around the venues that we have the most opportunity to attract events to.
OHC staff also represents the equine industry on Travel Oregon's Agri-Tourism Network. We have plans to launch a statewide equine tourism iniative that will not only encourage visitors to partake in equine acitivites while in Oregon (for example attending a horse focues event or go on a trail ride), but also spend the night at one of our unique lodging options at an equine facility.