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Combining heritage attractions with unrelated activities draws new audiences for local businesses

The Oregon Heritage Commission is sponsoring a half-day workshop June 14 to teach Newberg businesses the organizational skills needed to succeed in heritage tourism.

The workshop, headlined "Succeeding with Heritage Tourism: Market Information, Resources and Ideas for Attracting More Visitors through Creative Collaboration," has several goals for helping local businesses increase customer satisfaction. Through new information, examples, working tools, new contacts and networking opportunities, workshop attendees will learn how to create unique customer experiences and build collaboration to draw new audiences to their businesses.

Evidence for the success of these workshops, organizers said, can be seen in the visitation increases in eastern Oregon businesses in spring 2016. Sara LeCompte, Oregon Heritage Commissioner and past workshop participant, said the workshops were a lead in to a season that saw a 15- to 20-percent increase in visitation to heritage and cultural sites.

"Looking for opportunities to collaborate and cross market to build new audiences, they learned about the need to start connecting heritage attractions with other activities that might not seem compatible at first glance. Museum and brew pub? Historic sites and street fairs and bicycle rentals? Art gallery to museum to fishing spot?" LeCompte said, adding that these are ways that the workshop teaches businesses how to appeal to new customers through combining activities.

"It's easy to get focused on promoting our own are of interest, and forgetting that most humans generally have more than one favorite past-time, and want a travel and vacation experience to match their unique set of interests."

The workshop will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 14 at Chehalem Cu ltural Center, 415 E Sheridan St. While the workshop is free, registration is required and can be done at www.oregonheritage.org.

For more information, contact Beth Dehn at 503-986-0696 or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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