Campaign to focus on Southern Oregon's 'Seven Wonders'

Southern Oregon tourism folks like the state's new Seven Wonders of Oregon campaign so much that they are fashioning their own list of local wonders to promote for the coming vacation season.

For several months, Travel Oregon has let tourism partners throughout the state know they were working on a campaign to mimic and morph the "Seven Wonders of the Ancient World" into a present-day multimedia blitz.

Crater Lake, naturally, represents Southern Oregon. The former Mount Mazama blew its top 7,000 years ago, and the resulting caldera is now the deepest lake in North America and home to Oregon's only national park.

Rounding out Oregon's wonders are:

  • Mount Hood, the second-most climbed mountain in the world, crowned by 11 glaciers
  • All 363 miles of Oregon's Pacific Coast
  • Columbia River Gorge, designated by Congress as the largest National Scenic Area in the country
  • The Painted Hills of Eastern Oregon, delicately colored mountains where prehistoric creatures roamed
  • Smith Rock, where sport climbers from around the globe gather to pursue thousands of routes
  • The Wallowas, where from the summit of Mount Howard one can see the high desert of Indian country roll out in one direction and Hells Canyon in another.

"We heard about the campaign, saw the preliminary lists, and decided to focus on our own wonders," said Carolyn Hill, CEO of Southern Oregon Visitors Association. "We're trying to drive awareness for the peak season of planning and travel."

Among the candidates for the list are Crater Lake, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Jacksonville, the Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue River, Mountain Lakes Wilderness, the Land of the Umpqua and the local wine country.

"Our only problem is limiting the wonders of our region," Hill said of the project that will be released in May.

The idea, she said, is to piggyback on Travel Oregon's $3 million global campaign.

"It gives us leverage," Hill said. "We can repurpose a lot of what they're doing and put it on our own digital platforms."

The promotional efforts are paid for through the Regional Cooperative Marketing Program funded by a statewide lodging tax. For the fiscal year ending June 30, SOVA received $146,328, Hill said. The state recently notified her to anticipate roughly the same amount for 2014-15.

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or Follow him on Twitter @GregMTBusiness, friend him on Facebook and read his blog at Edge.

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