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  • 23 Nov 2014

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Are more tourists here going carless?

Portland’s tourism boom isn’t leading to a surge in car rentals here, according to a new analysis by BikePortland.

The bicyling blog’s news editor Michael Andersen was intrigued by a Portland Tribune article in January on Portland enjoying a record year for tourism in 2013. (portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/208913-65990-more-tourists-put-portland-at-top-of-travel-plans.)

Andersen wanted to know if Portland’s flourishing bicycle culture was making a dent in the number of travelers coming here who don’t rent cars.

He discovered, by checking with Multnomah County records, that hotel and motel tax receipts by the county are up 26 percent since 2001 while car rental revenues are down 13 percent, after adjusting for inflation.

A multitude of factors could help explain the trend — such as more visitors driving here who don’t need to rent cars. But Andersen’s research suggests that the Portland area's efforts to improve transit, walkability and bike-friendliness may be causing some visitors to ditch their cars.

"You can come and get around on the MAX, or your hotel might have a free bike that you can use," Travel Oregon spokeswoman Megan Conway told Andersen. "That's definitely appealing to the people who come here."

To read the full story at BikeOregon: bikeportland.org/2014/03/12/as-portland-tourism-booms-county-data-shows-an-odd-twist-car-rentals-havent-102728.

Steve Law can reached at 503-546-5139 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Twitter: @SteveLawTrib

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