Ashland tourists wealthy and well-educated

Many of Ashland's tourists are wealthy and highly educated, economic research shows.

An estimated 45 percent to 52 percent of Ashland tourists have annual household incomes of more than $100,000. Only 20 percent of American households have annual incomes of more than $100,000.

Nearly one-third of Ashland visitors have household incomes of less than $49,000. Some of those represent people who are single or who are retired and are receiving Social Security, said economist Rebecca Reid.

This summer, the Ashland Chamber of Commerce is targeting less wealthy tourists from Portland, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix through a promotion with the discount airline Allegiant Air, said Katharine Flanagan, marketing and Visitor and Convention Bureau director for the Ashland Chamber of Commerce.

Ashland visitors are viewed as well-educated, and the data confirms that. In the United States, 27 percent of people have a college or graduate degree, but an estimated 82 percent to 87 percent of Ashland tourists have degrees.

Fifty-eight percent of Ashland tourists have an advanced graduate or professional degree.

OSF is known for its educational programs for students and teachers, but also offers educational lectures, weekend classes and weeklong classes for adults.

Southern Oregon University's Exploritas program, formerly known as Elderhostel, welcomes about 2,400 older adult visitors each year for classes on subjects that range from theater to food to geology.

— Vickie Aldous

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