Registration Opens for the Oregon Rural Tourism Studio Program

Registration Opens for the Oregon Rural Tourism Studio Program

Southern Oregon Coast Region Invited to Participate January 2017 – April 2017

Coos County, Ore. – Dec. 09, 2016 – Oregon’s Rural Tourism Studio (RTS), offered by Travel Oregon, is open for registration. The winter/spring program will focus on the Southern Oregon Coast region, including the communities of Reedsport, Winchester Bay, North Bend, Coos Bay, Charleston, Bandon and the Coquille River Valley.

Oregon’s RTS program is a series of tourism development workshops designed to assist rural communities interested in stimulating their local economies through sustainable tourism development, while protecting and enhancing local resources. 

As a result of the program, Travel Oregon hopes to see an increase in authentic experiences for travelers throughout the state. In turn, this will strengthen Oregon’s position as a premier tourism destination by enhancing community livability and healthy, local environments.

The RTS professional development program offers hands-on skill-building through eight interactive workshop sessions and networking events held over a four-month period. The program is designed to assist residents and businesses in the Southern Oregon Coast region through the following goals:

·         Shape a regional vision and plan for local tourism development

·         Identify strategies for creating unique visitor experiences from local resources

·         Integrate principles of sustainable development to protect and enhance the community and its natural assets as the industry is developed

·         Entice visitors with local, nature-based outdoor recreation activities

·         Develop experiential tourism that integrates food, farm and fishing opportunities in the region

·         Shape collaborative destination marketing direction for the region and provide businesses and organizations tangible actions to promote their business and the region as a whole to visitors

·         Develop effective community action teams to move tourism development ideas into executable strategies

Community leaders, tourism business entrepreneurs, tour operators, lodging property owners, land managers, guides, outfitters, outdoor enthusiasts, restauranteurs, event producers, visitor attractions and anyone interested in strengthening the local economy through tourism are encouraged to participate in the program.

The following workshops and events will be offered as part of the program:

Jan. 24

4 p.m.-8 p.m.

North Bend

Community Tourism Visioning Event

Determine the essence of this destination, create the future and galvanize community members in working toward the fulfillment of this common purpose


Jan. 25

9 p.m.-4 p.m.

North Bend

Community Tourism Planning Workshop

Set a path for sustainable tourism based on current trends and local assets


Feb. 21

5 p.m.-8 p.m.


Adventure Travel & Outdoor Recreation Networking Event

Learn about key tourism projects in the area related to this sector and network with your peers


Feb. 22

9 a.m.-4 p.m.


Adventure Travel & Outdoor RecreationWorkshop

Work collaboratively to designs strategies and business opportunities to develop the outdoor recreation and adventure travel market for this region


Mar. 21

5 p.m.-8 p.m.


Culinary & Agritourism Networking Event

Learn about key tourism projects in the area related to this sector and network with your peers


Mar. 22

9 a.m.-4 p.m.


Culinary & Agritourism Workshop

Create ways for better connecting your local agricultural markets with the visitor industry to strengthen your local economy


Apr. 18

9 a.m.-4 p.m.

North Bend

Tourism Marketing & Communications Workshop

Learn tourism marketing best practices, how to plug into existing marketing efforts and how to develop a tourism marketing plan for your region and business


Apr. 19

9 a.m.-4 p.m.

North Bend

Teaming for Impact & Action Planning Workshop

Establish powerful local action teams in order to bring ideas developed during the program to fruition


Apr. 19

5 p.m.-7 p.m.

Coos Bay

Community Celebration Event

Participants share their vision of tourism for the region and celebrate program completion


To maximize the impact from the RTS program, it’s recommended that participants attend all workshops and events. Participants who attend at least four of the workshops will receive a certificate of completion from Travel Oregon.

The cost to participate in any one workshop is $5 (and includes lunch), or $20 for all five workshops. All networking events are free. Space is limited and is specifically designed for residents, businesses and organizations operating in the Southern Oregon Coast.  

For more information, or to register online, go to

If you have questions, contact the local steering committee lead:

Connie Stopher, Executive Director, South Coast Development Council | | 541-266‐9753

For general inquiries about the program, contact Elena Vizzini Destination Development Coordinator at Travel Oregon, at 971-717-6204 or


This program is offered with support from a local steering committee, including representatives from:

42 & Spruce Downtown, Bandon Chamber of Commerce, Benetti's Restaurant, Charleston Marine Life Center, City of Coos Bay, Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians,  Coos County, Coquille Indian Tribe, Coquille Chamber of Commerce, The Mill Casino, Oregon Coast Visitors Association, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Oregon State University -  Division of Outreach and Engagement, Port of Coos Bay, Powers School District, Reedsport Mainstreet Association, South Coast Development Council, South Slough NERR, Southwest Oregon Regional Airport, U.S. Forest Service - Rogue River National Forest, and the Wild Rivers Coast Alliance