Travel Southern Oregon hosted 22 of the top tour operators from around the world for the first-ever Oregon Road Rally.  Top professionals from China, Australia, France, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, the Netherlands and Germany spent two days  in April visiting the Umpqua Valley, Grants Pass, Jacksonville and Crater Lake.

The Glass Forge was one of several stops members of the Road Rally made during their two-day visit. Lee Wessink, master artisan at The Glass Forge, says the Oregon Road Rally was “great fun.”

“I think the people really enjoyed their time here and it opened their eyes to what’s in Southern Oregon. They were quite impressed. They said they wished they had time to see more things.”

Several tour operators also tasted Southern Oregon wine at Spangler Vineyards, visited with local firefighters in downtown Jacksonville and enjoyed a private tour at Wildlife Images Rehabilitation & Education Center.

The guests travelled through “The Southern Oregon Adventure,” an interactive experience at the Bear Hotel Artworks Museum, before a dinner catered by the Jacksonville Inn.

Ms. Die Jin, an Oregon Road Rally guest, gets a good look at glass blowing during a visit to The Glass Forge in Grants Pass.
Photo by Dan Shryock


Their visit here was part of a week of whirlwind activities around the state, led by Travel Oregon staff. The objective was to showcase Oregon’s great attributes to the operators so they can in turn, can tell their clients.

According to Gabi Duarte, Travel Oregon’s global sales project manager, the trip was an incredible success.

“The team here are Travel Oregon can’t thank you enough for helping us put together an incredible inaugural Oregon Road Rally. We have received a number of emails from participants in the last two days thanking Oregon and its partners for an amazing trip. We have heard time and time again that this was “The Best” fam they have ever been on. Kudos to you!”

“The Oregon Road Rally was truly one of the coolest things we’ve gotten to do,” said Carolyn S. Hill, CEO of Travel Southern Oregon. “It was brilliantly planned and executed by Travel Oregon, our staff and the organizations that graciously welcomed our visitors. We were very fortunate to have the opportunity to showcase Southern Oregon to this elite group of international operators.”