COOS BAY — The South Coast Regional Tourism Network received the Oregon Tourism Innovative Partnership Achievement Award at the Oregon Governor’s Conference on Tourism recently in Eugene.
The Innovative Partnership Award recognizes organizations or businesses that have successfully entered into a traditional or non-traditional partnership that resulted in an enhanced visitor experience.
From Reedsport to Brookings, cities along the southern Oregon Coast are breaking new ground when it comes to partnerships and collaboration.
“It’s a different concept really of how a partnership works,” Janice Langlinais, director of the Coos Bay North Bend Visitor and Convention Bureau said. “Rather than having an organization that everybody joins and is a member of, this is a concept where we have one person on the South Coast who is the conduit to keep all of us going in the same direction.”
The idea being that if two members of the network are working on similar projects to promote tourism, then they work together instead of separately.
“If we work together that will extend our funds, resources, and our ability reach bigger markets. That’s the kind of thing that this network was created to do,” Langlinais said.
Through a series of Rural Tourism Studios and collaborative projects, this sub-region was able to embrace the idea that they are stronger together than they are as individual communities. Together, they created the Oregon South Coast Regional Tourism Network (OSCRTN) that regionally collaborates to enhance economic development through sustainable tourism.
The South Coast Regional Tourism Network is led by Julie Miller, Network Manager, and a five-member core team, including Joe Benetti, mayor of Coos Bay; Marie Simonds, program manager with Wild Rivers Coast Alliance; Sam Baugh, executive director of the South Coast Development Council; Katherine Hoppe, tourism manager with The Mill Casino-Hotel; and Jodi Fritts, city manager of City of Gold Beach. The Coos Bay-North Bend Visitor and Convention Bureau participates in this network through a variety of collaborative opportunities and projects.
Working as a team to create consensus around regional priority projects, the tourism network is striving to make the Southern Oregon Coast a bucket-list destination.
One of the collaborative efforts that helped the tourism network earn the governor’s award was the way it approached a recent tourism trade show down in San Francisco. The South Coast attended the tourism promotion event as a group allowing them to garner more attention from a larger collaborative booth.
“We were still able to promote ourselves individually, but we did so from one booth. It was 30 feet across, which is a big booth,” Langlinais said.
With the busy tourism season quickly approaching, the Oregon South Coast Regional Tourism Network’s collaborative efforts will soon be put to the test.