Annual tourism summit unfolds Tuesday

By Observer staff April 14, 2010 01:44 pm

A variety of issues relating to local tourism will get an airing Tuesday when Union County Tourism holds its annual summit.

The event, open to the public at the Northeast Oregon Transit Center at 2204 Penn Ave., gets under way at 6 p.m. with greetings, a social time, and soup and salad bar.

Discussions to follow include “Tourism Touches You,” “Customer Service and Tourism Sales” and “Partnering to Move the Community Forward.”

“Tourism Touches You” is a quick review of tourism’s impact on Union County and how businesses can leverage Union County Tourism’s marketing and development program.

“Customer Service and Tourism Sales” is an overview of UCT’s Tourism Hospitality 101 training, a course offered for employees of local businesses each spring.

“Partnering to Move the Community Forward” addresses cooperative efforts to improve research and industry communication.

A panel discussion with Charlie Mitchell of the City of La Grande’s Community and Economic and Development Department and local tourism industry leaders follows at about 7:40 p.m.

Originally, organizers had planned a panel talk devoted to a proposal to raise the city’s transient room taxes. Dale Mammen of the UCT executive board said that plan has changed because the city has already met with lodging owners and heard their concerns.

 Union County Tourism Executive Director Janet Dodson said the summit is a good opportunity to learn more about the challenges and opportunities facing local developers and to network with other businesses and people with like interests.

Pre-registration for the summit is not required but is requested as it helps with planning, Dodson said.

To pre-register, contact Dodson at 541-963-8588.