By Brian Cameron
Tillamook County’s own Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), Visit Tillamook Coast, is set to take part in Travel Oregon’s Destination Development Rural Studio Program with an emphasis on utilizing the expansive resources of the county to exemplify a new area of fun and exciting options in the realm of Culinary Agritourism.
Agritourism is an up and coming venue within the modern United States’ options for visitors. It often coincides with regional foodie culture and can help places that have a lot on their plate to get visitors to experience their foods from the ground level. Activities like tours, events, farmers markets, walking maps and more were proposed at the meeting in hopes of generating interest to outside visitors to showcase even more of what the Tillamook area has to offer.
“I’m thrilled we are all here and talking with one another about how to grow our already vibrant tourism in Tillamook,” said Visit Tillamook Coast Director Nan Devlin. “This is what I really hoped would happen.”
For two consecutive days, representatives from Travel Oregon brought their expertise to Tillamook and members of the local tourism scene were on site to offer their business and social experience in regards to local tourism. Everyone from Marcus Hinz of Kayak Tillamook, Tom Flood with The Schooner Restaurant and Lounge, Jeff Wong of Garibaldi’s Community Supported Fishery as well as many other members of the County’s agriculture and tourism scene got together to brainstorm potential directions to take a burgeoning agritourism venue in Tillamook County.
During the two-day get together, members put their heads together to go over ideas about how to properly utilize Tillamook’s extensive options for agritourism. From farm-to-table experiences to seasonal annual events focused on garnering more attention to plates and palettes that come with our Oregon Coast offering.
“I think it’s amazing that such a group of diverse people with related experiences in Tillamook County can get together and commit to finding one specific project to focus on,” said Hinz.
The final session of the meeting had organizers separate members into small groups to write down specific ideas pertaining to agritourism that they could see potentially working for Tillamook County. Though a number of options came to light it seemed the most popular by far was one that revolved around the creation of a guided or self-guided food trail might be an option to aim for. This is entirely within its preliminary stages and nothing is written in stone but it’s a good bet that Tillamook may be focusing on showcasing the myriad tastes available to visitors, and hopefully throughout the entire year.
“My hope is that by developing a culinary/agritourism industry in Tillamook County, it will open the doors to entrepreneurial opportunities,” said Devlin. “Like distribution and delivery systems, online stores for products people want to buy after their visit, guided tour companies and other businesses.”