He was very proud. We were all very proud of him.
Our state tourism and hospitality industry professionals and the quality of our product offerings are among the finest anywhere. By providing specialized training and encouraging leadership engagement, the conference serves as a catalyst for increased synergies, innovative thinking and the continued strength and vibrancy of our industry.
Oregon offers some of the most accessible, high quality lodgings in the West, each with its own distinct service and attention to detail. It's gratifying to receive this recognition, especially when it's from travelers themselves.
It's an exciting time to gather from all corners of the state, celebrate what we've accomplished and strategize on what we can do together in the future. The tourism industry experienced solid growth in 2005, and our partnerships and passion, coupled with a strengthening economy, bode well for a promising 2006.
We've seen in the last year here in the state, visitor expenditures grow 7.5%, which is our strongest rate of growth in the last five years.