Guest Post by Karen Hutchinson-Talaski, Executive Director
Umatilla Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center, Umatilla, Oregon
Every day, travelers enter our welcome center and chamber office, seeking information about the Oregon Coast, Portland, the Columbia Gorge and every place in between.
We are all about promotion of our local businesses and our state.
When people stop by around lunch time, they ask where they can grab a bite to eat or pick up a few groceries.
Of course, we steer them towards our chamber members’ restaurants and stores.
Need a place to stay for the night? We have a couple of very nice, reasonably priced motels in town. Looking for gasoline? We have a couple of good stations in town. Need a pharmacy? We have one of those, too.
We constantly hear from business owners that what we do here at our center impacts their business. One of my board members says at every board meeting how many people we steer to her restaurant. She says that she can directly attribute part of her business’s success to our referrals.
Tourism brings people to Oregon, which in turn brings them to the businesses in our communities. Everyone needs to eat or get gas on a trip – why not stop at the businesses in the towns you go through to get to your destination?