Excerpts from a Feb. 26 Portland Business Alliance Forum on Portland's position in the travel and tourism industry:
'One of the big challenges for the tourism industry is that many of the people who are in it don't know that they are in it. Travel drives our economy, and when travel slows down, so does the rest of the economy.'
Ñ Rick Antonson, president and chief executive officer of Tourism Vancouver in British Columbia
'The fact of the matter is that if we are going to market Portland, we have to have the resources to do it. Of the major cities in this country, Portland ranks 42nd in the amount spent on tourism promotion. É People don't know who we are. É We're this vaguely quirky place somewhere out on the Pacific Rim. It's essential that we get the word 'Oregon' out there into the marketplace.'
Ñ Joe D'Alessandro, president and chief executive officer of the Portland Oregon Visitors Association
'We are entering a decade of uncertainty driven by an economic downturn and consumer hesitation about travel. It will probably be 2004 or 2005 before we see spending reach the levels of 2000.'
Ñ Antonson, on changes in the tourism industry following Sept. 11, 2001
'When Russia and China develop middle classes, the service needs in the travel industry will change. É Euros may outpace the U.S. dollar as the dominant currency. É People with Euros in their pocket find Canada affordable Ñ they find that everywhere is affordable.'
Ñ Antonson, speculating on the future of international tourism