MEDFORD – Travel Southern Oregon today announced it is no longer providing administrative services to the Southern Oregon Winery Association (SOWA). The official partnership was ended with the full endorsement of the board of directors for both organizations.

A formal agreement, undertaken in May 2013, included support for strategic planning, budgeting, membership, correspondence, website and social media. The services will now be brought back into the SOWA organization.

Support of the wine industry and related tourism opportunities in the Southern Oregon region remains an essential element of Travel Southern Oregon’s mission.

“Southern Oregon’s wine industry is an essential feature of our region’s appeal to visitors—particularly to adventurous and sophisticated culinary travelers,” said Bob Hackett, Travel Southern Oregon board president. “The relationship between Travel Southern Oregon and the Southern Oregon Winery Association is strong as we both prepare for what will surely be exciting times ahead for this burgeoning wine region that is still being discovered for its unique and excellent wines. Our winery partners offer exactly the kind of authentic Oregon experience visitors are seeking.”

As the regional administrator for Travel Oregon’s Wine Country License Plates Program, Travel Southern Oregon is investing in consumer marketing, research and outreach. An advisory committee of representatives from local wine, culinary and other tourism industries is providing insight to the Travel Southern Oregon board for the disbursement of funds designated for the region by the sale of the specialty plates.

"These are exciting times in Oregon for the wine and culinary industries,” said Nora Lancaster, marketing director of Kriselle Cellars and member of the advisory committee.  “We are committed to utilizing the available funds from the Wine Country license plates with utmost care to assist in promoting the world-class offerings our area grows and creates.  The beauty and bounty of this region is something both organizations are proud to promote.”

Travel Southern Oregon also just announced it was one of 12 statewide recipients of the Oregon Wine Country License Plates Matching Grants Program, also administered by Travel Oregon. The $10,000 grant will support a social media influencer tour that will focus on the wine and culinary experiences of Southern Oregon.

About Travel Southern Oregon:  Growing the tourism industry in Southern Oregon since 1984, Travel Southern Oregon is a seven-county regional cooperative marketing association and official Regional Destination Marketing Organization for the state tourism office, Travel Oregon.


Carla Shryock, Shryock Associates
(503) 949-7602