As the City’s liaison to the sports, travel and tourism industries, the Spectator Venues Program works with partners to attract events and promote Portland as a destination.
Bringing visitors to Portland creates jobs, boosts spending at local businesses and supports community investments.
Portland's hotel industry employed nearly 37,000 people in 2019, providing living-wage jobs and career growth opportunities to a diverse cross-section of Portlanders. Out-of-town visitors spent $5.6 billion at local businesses, fueling the economy. And lodging taxes contributed $39.1 million to the City of Portland's general fund during the 2018-2019 financial year, supporting community services such as parks, fire and transportation.
When visitors stay at hotels or short term rentals in Portland, they pay 13 percent lodging taxes - $13 for each night at a $100 hotel room.
5% goes to the City of Portland general fund to support community services such as parks, fire and transportation
1% goes to Travel Portland, the region's leading tourism organization, to promote Portland.
5.5% supports programs associated with the Oregon Convention Center, the Regional Arts & Culture Council and the Visitors Development Board. During the 2019-2020 fiscal year, an amendment to the Visitor Facilities Intergovernmental Agreement between the City of Portland, Multnomah County and Metro committed resources to improve Veterans Memorial Coliseum and the Portland’5 performing arts venues.
1.5 percent goes to the Oregon Tourism Commission to fund Travel Oregon.
Tourism Improvement District
Portland’s Tourism Improvement District collects an additional 3 percent fee on overnight stays at hotels and vacation rentals, which is typically passed along to guests. With oversight from the lodging community, Travel Portland invests revenue to promote Portland as a destination.
At the request of the hotel industry, the Portland City Council created the Tourism Improvement District in 2012 and set the additional fee at 2 percent, with a requirement for a periodic sunset review. In 2016, the Council voted to continue the program and made some adjustments to the City code that regulates the Tourism Improvement District.
The district was due for a sunset review in 2021. Meanwhile, the global COVID-19 pandemic devastated tourism: Hotel rooms were vacant, employees were out of work and local businesses lost significant revenue due to the reduction in visitors. Overall, hotel revenues dropped about 80 percent compared with 2019.
At the request of leaders in the tourism industry, the City Council approved three changes designed to increase tourism, jobs and tax revenues:
- Continue the 2 percent fee and eliminate the need for future reviews.
- Impose an additional 1 percent Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Surcharge.
- Require surcharge review in 2026 and every five years afterward.
Sports Tourism and Promotion
The City also partners with Sports Oregon to provide marketing and promotional services to bring sporting events to Portland and specifically to the City-owned venues including Providence Park stadium and the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.