Portland, OR. Travel Portland’s 38th Annual Tourism & Hospitality Awards recognized individuals, organizations and businesses that made a valuable contribution to the visitor industry over the past year. In 2016, the Portland metro area welcomed 8.9 million visitors who generated $5.1 billion in direct spending, a 2.9 percent increase from the previous year. In addition, the local tourism sector grew 2.3 percent to 36,300 total jobs in 2016. Travel Portland’s president, Jeff Miller thanked Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler for supporting the May 16th event. (Photo credit, Naim Hasan)

KGW’s Stephanie Strickland served as emcee. She introduces Mayor Wheeler and David Penilton of America’s Hub World Travel.

Mayor Ted Wheeler presents Bill Wyatt, executive director for Port of Portland, with the “Rose City Award” for the organization’s significant contribution to the promotion of tourism. They’re pictured with David Penilton.

Travel Portland honored award recipients at a celebratory breakfast at the Oregon Convention Center. “Tourism continues to grow in Portland and there are many organizations and individuals who have contributed to that growth and success,” said Jeff Miller, president and CEO of Travel Portland. “By joining forces with the Mayor to recognize our tourism and hospitality partners, we not only acknowledge and thank each recipient for the remarkable work they’re doing in our city, but underscore the critical economic, cultural and social impact that this industry brings to Portland.”

Travel Portland’s award recipients were selected based on their contributions to the economic and social value tourism generates for the region.

Travel Portland’s 2017 Tourism & Hospitality Industry Awards and recipients include: 

Portland Award

The Portland Award recognizes the greatest overall contribution to the promotion of Portland’s visitor industry:

  • Stephen Bloom, CEO of the Japanese Garden, for displaying the vision and leadership to make one of Portland’s top attractions an even more amazing experience.

President’s Award

The President’s Award recognizes valuable contributions to Portland’s visitor industry by individuals, organizations or businesses: 

  • Rick McCullogh, producer, Wie Is De Mol, Netherlands, for believing that Portland would be a compelling location for his viewers and shining a spotlight on Portland, resulting in increased website visits and airline bookings from the Netherlands.
  • Portland Mercado, for showcasing diversity and the entrepreneurial spirit in Portland and believing that small business and culture are the cornerstones of a city.
  • International Rose Garden, for creating a positive and enduring brand for Portland through the garden’s work to maintain a must-see attraction for locals and visitors to enjoy over the last 100 years.

Rose City Award

The Rose City Award honors a significant contribution to the promotion of tourism:

  • Bill Wyatt, executive director, Port of Portland, for opening potential visitor feeder markets around the world and ensuring that visitors’ first and last experiences in Portland are positive.

Twin Spires Award

The Twin Spires Award honors an individual or association that has made a significant contribution to the promotion of convention business in Portland:

  • General Council on Finance & Administration, the United Methodist Church, for contributing to Portland, both in meeting business and community service.
  • Presbyterian Church U.S.A., for continuous volunteer efforts and for always focusing on leaving a positive impact on visitors and the community.

Sustainability Award

The Sustainability Award recognizes an individual or association that has fostered environmentally friendly business practices or programs that enhance Oregon’s exceptional quality of life:

  • Go Green Conference, for continuing to push Portland and Oregon toward a greener future and maintaining Portland’s leadership in sustainability.

Spirit of Hospitality Award

The Spirit of Hospitality Award honors an individual or organization that exemplifies the highest level of customer service and serves as an inspiration to the hospitality community:

  • Julie Davies, a volunteer at A Village for One and sales manager at the Jupiter Hotel, for tirelessly working toward the non-profit’s mission to unite the community to provide a safe and healthy environment for youth to heal mentally, physically and spiritually.

About Travel Portland:

Travel Portland is the official destination marketing organization for the city of Portland, Oregon. Its mission is to strengthen the local economy by marketing the Greater Portland region as a preferred destination for meetings, conventions and leisure travel. For more information on Travel Portland, visit www.TravelPortland.com.