Coastal tourism professionals gathered in Astoria this week Oct 16-18, 2023 for the Oregon Coast Visitors Association Annual Summit. Many great speakers and lots of networking! Hosted at the spectacular Astoria Elk’s Lodge and nearby facilities, participants were able to experience Astoria while enhancing their professional knowledge and inspiring new collaborations. If you missed the event you can still visit the OCVA web site and staff for other helpful information.

Here is a sample of what was presented.

  • Destination Commute: Revolutionizing Tourism Travel
  • Inclusive Destinations: Embracing Accessible Travel
  • InstaTourism: Boosting Your Brand Through Social Media
  • Otterly Impactful: The Economic Return of Sea Otters to Oregon Coast
  • Discovering Sustainable Programs for Coastal Businesses
  • Coastal Horizons: Building a Strong Workforce
  • Influencer Journeys: Transforming Destination Stories
  • Destination Power-Up: Empowering Tourism DMOs with Tools
  • Hops for a Greener Tomorrow: Sustainable Brewery Initiatives
  • Unlocking the World: The Wheel the World Experience
  • SetJetters: Lights, Camera, Wander! Exploring Film Tourism
  • Case Studies of Regenerative Tourism
  • Advocacy Catalyst: Igniting Action in Tourism Excellence
  • Sustainability Redefined: The 4VI Approach to Destination Excellence

You may contact Oregon Sea Grant Extension Miles Phillips for assistance with sustainable tourism management.

Over the course of Summer Term 2023, from June 26 to August 25, I have been an intern with the Oregon Sea Grant Extension Tourism Program under the guidance of Associate Professor for Sustainable Tourism, Miles Phillips ( I received four credit hours from the College of Forestry’s Forest Ecosystems and Society program. I am in the Tourism, Recreation, and Adventure Leadership major, with a concentration in Sustainable Tourism Management. Over the course of the term, I have been working approximately 20 hours per week and working on a wide range of tasks. My main internship objectives were to 1) gain knowledge of key tourism organizations in Oregon, 2) gain knowledge of Oregon tourism impacts, 3) gain knowledge of OSU Extension, Sea Grant, and the Tourism Program, 4) gain experience and skills in writing blog articles for public education, 5) gain knowledge of key elements of customer service, and 6) gain knowledge and experience in providing customer service training.

A central focus of my internship involved writing at least 10 blog articles for Extension’s Sustainable Tourism Blog. Each of these articles were a few hundred words long, which allowed me to enhance my skills in creating engaging content while deepening my knowledge of Oregon’s tourism industry. A couple Tuesdays of my internship I worked in the College of Forestry’s marketing and communications offices, where I was able to get direct feedback from the college’s Director of Marketing and Communications, Kevin Lee. Below are my blog article topics:

Perspective on finding a job in the tourism industry in 2023
How Oregon Tourism is Structured and Funded by the Transient Lodging Tax
Economic Impacts of Tourism in Oregon
What is OSU Extension and Specifics of Extension Tourism Program
Sustainable Tourism Management major at OSU
Practical Customer Service Course
Tourism Industry Representative Organizations
Hawaii Conference Announcement
Oregon Trails Summit Announcement
OCVA Summit Announcement
NET Conference Announcement

A smaller task that I did regarding the blog was reposting old blog posts about local flora and fauna. This task taught me how to schedule blog posts and about general blog organization. I also did general research on Costa Rica, and put together a fact sheet for guests on a group trip. This was for guests on an experiential learning trip to Costa Rica that Extension is hosting in late August. Furthermore, I also completed the Practical Customer Service Training offered by Sea Grant Extension and assisted in converting the course to a new platform. My role for this task was ensuring that the course was user friendly and well put together from the student’s perspective.

I also dedicated time to creating a GORP Master List, consolidating information from numerous Excel spreadsheets. This experience provided me with hands-on expertise in meticulous data organization, ensuring the Master List’s accuracy and usability. The Oregon Coast Visitor Association was in need of a more specific subset of data, and I was able to easily extract this from the Master List through data manipulation. Also for GORP, I did some research on guided tours, and compiled a list of interview questions that could be used in order to create a case guide for a certified guide’s experience.

This internship had a few opportunities for me to meet more people in the industry as well. I was able to meet with Marie Simonds, who is the Executive Director of the Wild Rivers Coast Alliance at the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. This meeting offered me valuable insights into real-world industry needs and challenges, specifically in employment and community needs. During my internship there was also a summer gathering for Sea Grant. This allowed me to network and learn more about the different sectors and projects that Oregon Sea Grant is doing. A goal of this meeting was to generate ideas for broadening Oregon Sea Grant’s impacts, reaching a wider audience, and improving connections. Attending this event was extremely informative for me, and I was able to learn about the education, research, and extension roles in Sea Grant. Lastly, I sat in on a meeting with Curry County Tourism, learning about their current and future projects.

A final task for my internship was a grant proposal. With assistance from Miles, I drafted and submitted a proposal for a grant to the Marine Debris Foundation. This grant proposes to reduce plastic pollution along the Oregon Coast through regenerative tourism, by providing training and equipment for GORP certified guides to be able to implement marine debris awareness and removal as part of their tours, thereby also educating and involving a large number of people who visit or live along the Oregon coast. I believe that this introductory grant writing experience has given me a foundation to draft grant proposals in future positions. The proposal requested $26,800.

This internship concludes my time as an OSU student! I recommend this type of internship.

The 2023 summit aims to connect Oregon’s outdoor community to collaborate and network to better serve Oregon’s natural, cultural, and historical resources. 

Join the 2023 Oregon Outdoor Recreation Summit in North Bend from November 2-4, 2023!

This summit is hosted by the Oregon Trails Coalition, and will be held at The Mill Hotel in North Bend. This event will focus on equity, partnerships, climate change, stewardship, trail expansion, and more

Register here: