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Impact of Tourism on the Coastal Economy

The shift from a primarily natural resource based economy to one where tourism and retirement play an increasingly larger role is changing the demographics of coastal communities. This new demographic is less likely to support traditional industrial development. In addition, a growing tourism/retirement economy also drives up land values, which helps convert industrial zoned land to residential and commercial uses.

Individual coastal communities are pursuing a variety of economic development strategies that span both economic sectors. For example, Cannon Beach, historically a tourist destination, continues to rely on tourism, with little or no industrially zoned land. Communities that rely solely on the tourism/retirement economy face serious financial challenges in their effort to provide infrastructure and public services under the states current tax structure and cap on local property taxes. Thats why Newport and Florence are working to balance their tourist/retirement economy with commercial fishing and small business/manufacturing.

Compiled by John Ame, Science Writer (2008)


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LCDC A Citizens Guide to the Oregon Coastal Management Program

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Oregon State University: News and Communication Services;